Tony Boselli was the Jaguars’ first-ever draft selection and became the team’s first-ever Hall of Famer Saturday afternoon at the Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony in Canton, Ohio.
Boselli, who was the second overall pick in the 1995 NFL Draft out of USC, became a five-time Pro Bowl selection (1996-2000), and a three-time All-Pro (1997-99),
During his seven seasons in the NFL, Boselli allowed only 15.5 sacks and was the first Jaguars player to be inducted into the team’s Pride of the Jaguars, and he was selected to the NFL’s All-Decade team of the 1990s.
On Saturday, Boselli, who was inducted with seven others, was introduced b7 former Jaguars QB Mark Brunell, and he thanked Brunell and many of his teammates in Jacksonville.
“I had amazing teammates,” Boselli said during his speech. “I was fortunate to play with so many great Jaguars like Fred Taylor, who made me look good all the time, and Jimmy Smith, who not too many people could cover. I hope one day both of them will have the chance to be in Canton. And I treasure the moments I shared with my brothers on the offensive line, especially Ben Coleman, who had my back at left guard, Leon Searcy, who set the standard on the right side, and one of my best friends, Jeff Novak, who by the way is the only guy I ever backed up in the NFL, but most of the time he was busy making jokes and making me laugh.”
He also thanked his former coach Tom Coughlin, the team’s and Boselli’s first coach.
“Again, there is nothing more precious than family. To my Jaguars family…it all starts with Tom Coughlin, who, by the way, belongs on this stage really soon because there’s not too many better coaches than him. Tom, you were a pain to play for at times, though,” he said. “You were hard, had high standards, a bunch of silly rules I never agreed with. You were difficult to play for, but I always respected you. You made us winners. I am more grateful for you, Coach, with each passing year, and Tom, you and your family, will always mean the world to Angi and I.”
Boselli also thanked his wife, Angi, who he met during his time at USC.
“My career, indeed, had taken flight at USC,” he said. “Much more important; however, my life would take shape thanks to meeting Angi Aylor, my wife, best friend, counselor, supporter, and the world’s greatest mom for 27 plus years. I want to thank Angi’s parents, Ed and Nancy, and her siblings, Steve, Ami, and Jeff, for all the support and for not messing her up. Angi, you’ve been central to my life in the journey I’ve taken as a football player, husband, and father. You’ve been with me since the beginning, encouraging me to take and follow the right path. And to keep me on the right path, she actually married me. Angi was at my side when the expansion Jacksonville Jaguars selected me second overall in the 1995 NFL Draft. The greatest thing football has done for me is setting the stage for you, Angi, to be my wife. God gave me the opportunity to play the game I love, but outside of Jesus dying for me, you’re the greatest gift I’ve received. Thank you, and I love you!!’
He finally thanked the rest of his family, including his kids and his dad, the late Tony Boselli, Sr.
“Above all, I thank God for family,” he said. “Mom, Fred, Carla, Jennifer, Michael, Lauren, Liz, Uncle Bud, and Aunt Betty, and all my cousins, Angi, my five amazing kids, Andrew, Adam, Ashli, Lexi, Ansli, but there’s actually one more I want to talk about. I was born Don Bosco Anthony Boselli, Junior. The best part of my name, though, is Junior.
To my dad, Tony Boselli, Senior, whose brave fight with cancer was decided on May 31, 2021, and whose impact on my childhood and career can never be adequately expressed. Thank you, Dad. Thank you for everything. I am happy you are in the comfort of God. I know you are here, but man, I wish you were here with me. I miss you. I love you. And on this, one of the greatest days of my life, I honor your memory and thank you for the greatest gift of all, and that’s family.”