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Hall of Fame: Boselli passed over again

Jacksonville Jaguars tackle Tony Boselli (71) sets to block against the Cleveland Browns in October 1999 in Jacksonville, Fla. (Al Messerschmidt via AP)

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – Football's biggest honor continues to elude Big Bo.

Tony Boselli, the first player ever inducted into the Pride of the Jaguars, on Saturday was not elected to the 2020 Pro Football Hall of Fame class. He had been among 15 modern-era finalists this year.

"Is it disappointing? Sure," Boselli told shortly after learning the news. "But you know what? There are five guys who got the knock, and I'm happy for them whoever they are."

Those elected to the Hall receive the news in person from Hall of Fame president David Baker. The candidates not elected receive a telephone call.

"We were hoping for the knock, but I have great friends, great family and I'm part of a great organization (the Jaguars)," Boselli said. "Obviously, you want the knock, but hopefully we'll be doing this in Tampa next year. We'll be all together and we'll go from there."

Hall voting takes place in the host city of the Super Bowl each year a day before the game. Super Bowl LV will be held in Tampa in February 2021.

Boselli, the first player ever selected by the Jaguars in the college draft, was the No. 2 overall selection by the team in the 1995 NFL Draft. He was named to the Pro Bowl five times – following the 1996-2000 seasons – and was second-team selection to the NFL's 1990s All-Decade team. He was a three-time first-team Associated Press All-Pro selection before shoulder injuries cut his career short after seven seasons.

This is the fourth consecutive year Boselli has been a Hall finalist. The '20 Hall class will be announced later Saturday night.

Other finalists this year were running back Edgerrin James, wide receiver Reggie Wayne, guard Alan Faneca, wide receiver Isaac Bruce, wide receiver Torry Holt, defensive tackle Bryant Young, linebacker Zach Thomas, defensive lineman Richard Seymour, linebacker Sam Mills, safety John Lynch, safety LeRoy Butler, safety Steve Atwater, safety Troy Polamalu and guard Steve Hutchinson.

Boselli vowed to take a more positive, relaxed approach to the Hall election process this year. He did so, and the mood in his hotel room in South Florida – where he was surrounded by family and friends, including former Jaguars quarterback and longtime teammate Mark Brunell – was relaxed and upbeat before and after Boselli received the news.

"The last couple of years I've been sitting there and everyone's quiet and you're stressed out about it," Boselli said. "I realized this year at some point that, 'You know what? I've got a great family. I have a great marriage. I have great kids. I have amazing friends. I have a great life. People care about me and I care about people.'

"Obviously, I want to be in the Hall of Fame. It would be a huge honor. At the same time, I'm going to enjoy the process. I'm going to enjoy my family. I'm going to enjoy my friends. It's going to be a celebration together. This year, it didn't happen.

"Hopefully, I'll be a finalist again. Hopefully, all of us will be in Tampa and hopefully it's a knock this time."

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