JACKSONVILLE – This just felt right.
Tony Boselli, the Pride of the Jaguars left tackle who in August will become the franchise's first player enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, on Monday announced that his Hall presenter will be friend, former teammate and former Jaguars quarterback Mark Brunell.
Boselli said the decision came after long conversations with his wife, Angi.
"He's more than just a friend – he's like family," Boselli said. "Obviously, as I think about my football career, he's a big part of it. He's a big part of what I did on the field and also a big part of our family off the field. It felt like the right person.
"As I think about people I want to be a part of it, it's obviously my family. Trying to pick between my wife and all my kids … as I think about other people who are super close, Mark's obviously at the top of the list."
Boselli and Brunell played for the Jaguars from 1995-2001, their off-field friendship and on-field play helping define what remains the most successful period in franchise history.
Boselli, a five-time Pro Bowl selection and first member of the Pride of the Jaguars, was elected to the Hall of Fame in January. He will be enshrined Saturday, August 6.
The Jaguars during the Boselli-Brunell era made four consecutive playoff appearances from 1996-1999, winning the AFC South title in 1998-1999 and playing in the AFC Championship Game following the 1996 and 1999 seasons.
"Our careers are tied together, the success we've had," Boselli said. "If you look at the most success the franchise had, it's when we were both playing. To me, it's not just about us as teammates. It's the friendship we established as teammates – and off the field.
"To this day, we're super close and a big part of each other's lives. That's why I chose him."
Their performances in back-to-back weeks helped define the team's memorable '96 playoff run, with Boselli turning in a legendary performance against Buffalo Bills defensive end Bruce Smith in an AFC Wild Card playoff victory in the first game of that postseason.
Brunell a week later led what is still considered the most memorable victory in franchise history – a 30-27 victory over the heavily favored Denver Broncos at Mile High Stadium in Denver. Brunell's memorable 27-yard scramble and subsequent touchdown pass to wide receiver Jimmy Smith secured that victory and sent the Jaguars in the AFC Championship Game the following week against the New England Patriots at New England.