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On This Day: First draft class signs


1995 was the Jaguars' "Year of Firsts." Everything they did was a first for the expansion franchise, from the first uniform unveiling to the first free agent signing. It was a first for the Jaguars but they were certainly not covering new ground for the NFL. They had 28 teams to model as they built themselves from the ground up.

Though on June 1, 1995 the Jaguars went rogue and did something that up until that point in NFL history, 75 seasons of it, had never been done. On a quiet day in an otherwise docile point of the offseason the Jaguars announced that they were signing their draft class. At first I remember thinking 'which players are they signing?' because I had no frame of reference for what they were really doing.

In what was the family waiting room just inside EverBank Field, they set up two long tables and 10 chairs. It still took a few minutes for those of us covering the news conference to realize that they were signing all 10 members of their inaugural draft class. At the same time. Remember, this was back in the day when the first round pick was expected to hold out, especially a player picked in the top five.

Tony Boselli led the group of 10 as he took his seat alongside James Stewart of Tennessee, Brian DeMarco from Michigan State, Bryan Schwartz from Augustana, Chris Hudson of Colorado, Rob Johnson from Southern California, Mike Thompson of Wisconsin, Ryan Christopherson from Wyoming, Marcus Price of Louisiana State and Curtis Marsh from Utah.

Owner Wayne Weaver, General Manager Michael Huyghue and Head Coach Tom Coughlin took in the scene as the players ceremoniously signed their contracts and smiled for the cameras. It was an unprecedented moment at that point and hasn't been repeated since.

There were many more 'firsts' for the Jaguars leading up to their first season and first game but that moment was a first for the NFL.

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