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Hall of Fame: Boselli, Taylor named semifinalists


JACKSONVILLE – Two all-time great Jaguars are closer to Canton yet again.

Fred Taylor and Tony Boselli, two members of the Pride of the Jaguars, on Wednesday were named modern-era semifinalists for the 2022 Pro Football Hall of Fame class. It's Taylor's third consecutive year as a semifinalist and Boselli's seventh consecutive year as a semifinalist.

The pair was among 26 semifinalists announced Wednesday.

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.

Boselli has been a Hall finalist the last five 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.

Seven first-year eligible players were among the semifinalists named Wednesday: Wide receiver Anquan Boldin, returner Devin Hester, wide receiver Andre Johnson, defensive end Robert Mathis, wide receiver Steve Smith, linebacker/defensive end DeMarcus Ware and defensive tackle Vince Wilfork. 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.

Other semifinalists: Cornerback Eric Allen, defensive end Jared Allen, offensive tackle Willie Anderson, cornerback/safety Ronde Barber, safety LeRoy Butler, running back Eddie George, wide receiver Torry Holt, linebacker Sam Mills, defensive end/tackle Richard Seymour, special teams player Steve Tasker, linebacker Zach Thomas, wide receiver Hines Ward, running back Ricky Watters, wide receiver Reggie Wayne, linebacker Patrick Willis, safety Darren Woodson and defensive tackle Bryant Young.

The list of semifinalists 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 semifinalists next will be trimmed to 15 modern-era finalists in January.

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