JACKSONVILLE – Tony Boselli is in the final 15 again.
The Jaguars legend on Thursday moved a step closer to football immortality, being named a modern-era finalist for the 2022 Pro Football Hall of Fame class.
Boselli, a Jaguars left tackle from 1995-2001, was named a finalist for the sixth consecutive year. He was among 15 finalists announced early Thursday evening on the NFL Network.
"You always hope you get a chance to be in the Top 15 for your name to be debated," Boselli said Thursday following the announcement. "People always say, 'Oh, you're going to make the finals.' I never really view it that way. You look at the list of players. They're all great players. They're guys who have had great careers who are worthy of being in the Hall of Fame."
"To be a finalist again is a huge honor. Hopefully this is the year to get over the next hurdle."
Former Jaguars running back Fred Taylor was among 11 semifinalists not making the final 15. Taylor has been a semifinalist the last three years.
Boselli, the No. 2 overall selection in the 1995 NFL Draft – the Jaguars' first draft – made five Pro Bowls and was named first-team All-Pro in seven seasons with the Jaguars. His career was cut short by shoulder injuries. He has been a Hall semifinalist seven consecutive years.
Taylor, the No. 9 overall selection in the 1998 NFL Draft, rushed for 11,695 yards and 66 touchdowns in 13 NFL seasons. He rushed for 11,271 yards and 62 touchdowns with Jacksonville from 1998-2008.
Three first-year eligible players were among the 15 finalists named Thursday: returner Devin Hester, wide receiver Andre Johnson and defensive end/linebacker DeMarcus Ware. To be considered for election to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, a nominated individual must not have participated as an active player for five consecutive seasons.
The other 11 modern-era finalists: Linebacker Sam Mills, linebacker Zach Thomas, linebacker Patrick Willis, defensive end Jared Allen, defensive lineman Richard Seymour, defensive tackle Bryant Young, wide receiver Reggie Wayne, wide receiver Torry Holt, cornerback Ronde Barber, safety LeRoy Butler and offensive tackle Willie Anderson.
The list of finalists was reduced from a list of 26 semifinalists announced in late November. That list was reduced from an initial group of 123 nominees announced in September. No more than five modern-era candidates make the hall each year.
The Class of 2022 will be announced Thursday, February 10.