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Around the NFC West: 49ers hail Gore

Frank Gore, already the San Francisco 49ers' career rushing leader, is headed to the Super Bowl in New Orleans.

His head coach and one prominent teammate have suggested another destination for Gore: the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.

Around the NFC West: Jan. 22, 2013

Jim Harbaugh and quarterback Colin Kaepernick mentioned Gore in that vein during separate interviews three days apart.

Kaepernick on Jan. 18: "He's going to be a Hall of Fame running back."

That was before Gore rushed for 90 yards and two touchdowns in the 49ers' 28-24 victory over Atlanta in the NFC Championship Game.

Harbaugh made a similar mention Sunday, shortly after beating the Falcons.

"I really believe he’ll be in the Hall of Fame someday," Harbaugh said.

Gore has 8,839 yards rushing since entering the NFL as a third-round draft choice in 2005. Two players, Steven Jackson (9,462) and Adrian Peterson (8,849), have more rushing yards over that span.

Hall of Famer Joe Perry had most of his 9,723 career rushing yards with the 49ers. The running back most recently enshrined, Curtis Martin, had 14,101 yards and 90 rushing touchdowns.

How Gore runs -- low to the ground and with much more power than his size suggests he should possess -- distinguishes him beyond the statistics. He and Steven Jackson are linked in my mind as running backs with the determination to play hard always regardless of game or season circumstances. It's good to see players such as them get a shot at the Super Bowl.