JACKSONVILLE – Tony Boselli has been elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
The Jaguars legend on Thursday became the first player in franchise history so honored and was one of five players elected as a modern-era member of the 2022 Pro Football Hall of Fame class.
"It's a huge honor," Boselli said.
Boselli, a Jaguars left tackle from 1995-2001, had been named a finalist for a sixth consecutive year, and was in his seventh consecutive year as a semifinalist.
"You don't get here by yourself," Boselli said. "There's a bunch of people in my life that helped me get to this point. Part of it's the guys I played with in Jacksonville, the coaches I've had."
Boselli, the first person named to the Pride of the Jaguars, also mentioned former Jaguars Head Coach Tom Coughlin (1995-2002) and former offensive line coach Mike Maser.
"To be able to represent that organization – since I got drafted there as the first pick in 1995 and now going into the Hall of Fame – is something I'm proud of," Boselli said. "I take it seriously, representing the organization, and it's something I love.
"People ask me all the time, 'Do you wish you had gone to the [Green Bay] Packers or the [New England] Patriots, these historic franchises?' No. I'm good with the Jaguars. I'm good. I like representing them."
Also named to the Hall Thursday: Safety LeRoy Butler, defensive tackle Bryant Young, defensive end Richard Seymour and linebacker Sam Mills.
Boselli, the No. 2 overall selection the 1995 NFL Draft – the Jaguars' first draft – made five Pro Bowls and was named first-team All-Pro three times in seven seasons with the Jaguars. His career was cut short by shoulder injuries.
"Tony's well-deserved selection for enshrinement in the Pro Football Hall of Fame is long overdue and one of the greatest moments in the history of our franchise," Jaguars Owner Shad Khan said. "Tony embraced being a Jaguar from the moment he was drafted and from there fought for Jacksonville as one of the greatest offensive linemen to ever play the game.
"Tony has also represented the Jaguars with class since the day he arrived. Beyond his exceptional on-field performance, since retirement he has been an integral member of the Jaguars family while calling Jacksonville home for more than 25 years.
"No one understands, defends, supports or loves the Jaguars and Duval like Tony Boselli. I think I speak for everyone when I say congratulations, Tony. Gold looks good on you."
Boselli, who played collegiately at Southern California, missed his first four games of his rookie season with a knee injury then started the final 12 games that season – already playing at a high level. He started 16 games the ensuing regular-season and was key to the Jaguars' postseason appearance that season.
He highlighted that season with a career-breakout performance in an AFC Wild Card Playoff game, playing Hall of Fame defensive end Bruce Smith one-on-one in the Jaguars' 30-27 victory over the Buffalo Bills. That's a performance still considered one of the best in NFL history by an offensive lineman.
Boselli made the Pro Bowl in 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999 and 2000 – making the game in 2000 after returning from a torn anterior cruciate ligament the previous December. Boselli also was named first-team Associated Press All-Pro in 1997-1999.
Modern-era players also named to the Hall Thursday:
Safety LeRoy Butler, linebacker Sam Mills, and defensive tackle Richard Seymour and defensive tackle Bryant Young.
The other 10 modern-era finalists: defensive end Jaren Allen, offensive tackle Willie Anderson, cornerback Ronde Barber, returner Devin Hester, wide receiver Torry Holt, wide receiver Andre Johnson, linebacker Zach Thomas, outside linebacker/defensive end DeMarcus Ware, wide receiver Reggie Wayne and linebacker Patrick Willis.
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.
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.