After 27 seasons in the National Football League, the Jacksonville Jaguars have their first hall of fame player in Tony Boselli, who was enshrined during a ceremony in Canton, Ohio Aug. 6.
It was fitting that Boselli was the first in more ways in one, because not only was he an all-pro left tackle and a member of the 1990s all-decade team for what he did on the field, but he has been arguably Mr. Jaguar off the field and around the organization as well.
Since being selected as the Jaguars’ first ever draft and second overall in the 1995 NFL draft, he has left his mark and been a face of the franchise.
He helped lead the organization to a pair of AFC Championship game appearances in 1996 and 1999, and after his playing days, he continued to be involved as a color commentator on the team’s game broadcasts.
“As the first Jacksonville Jaguar to be welcomed as a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, it is a profound honor, and I thank the Hall for the privilege, and I thank you for allowing me to be your teammates,” Boselli said.
Throughout Boselli’s acceptance speech he mentioned family and the massive role their support had on him reaching the point where he could be standing up on stage wearing a gold jacket, which they give to each hall of fame member, for the whole world to see.
“Without the influence of my family during my early years, my life in football isn’t happening,” Boselli said. “No way am I standing in front of you at this moment. But, as a kid when you’re showered with love by everyone around you, anything was possible. So, I set the bar high, real high, maybe too high. I wanted to be a quarterback in the NFL.
Although he did not become a quarterback, he was still connected to that position but in the form of protecting it as an offensive tackle, which he was able to do at a high level throughout his high school days and excelling at the college level for the University of Southern California before making it to the pros.
Former Jaguars quarterback and teammate Mark Brunnell was Boselli’s presenter during the ceremony.
Many Jaguars fans made the trip up to Ohio and attended the ceremony at the Pro Football Hall of Fame, as they wanted to feel a part of the historic moment for the franchise.
“Angi and I are blessed incredibly to call Jacksonville our home,” Boselli said. “It is where four of our five children were born, and every one of them have been raised. It’s a beautiful city where the Bosellis have made lifelong friends, several of you here today.”
To wrap things up, Boselli made sure to sum up the experience to all the fans in attendance and watching on TV, the best way he knew how.
“I thank God for football, and I thank God for the people of Jacksonville,” Boselli said. “And I have to get this in one time…DUUUVAL!”
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