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2021 Pro Football Hall of Fame: Fred Taylor and Tony Boselli named semifinalists

After releasing an initial list of 130 nominees for its 2021 class, the Pro Football Hall of Fame has narrowed the search for its next inductees with a list of 25 semifinalists and two former Jacksonville Jaguars players have made the list — offensive tackle Tony Boselli and running back Fred Taylor.

Tony Boselli (1995-2001)

Boselli, the first-first round pick in franchise history, was not only an integral part of the team’s history, but he arguably set the tone for many tackles growing in today’s NFL.

His illustrious seven-year career speaks for itself, Boselli’s accolades include: five Pro Bowls, three first-team All-Pro seasons — earning him a spot on the second team of the 1990s all-decade team — the only 90s all-decade member to not be inducted into the Hall of Fame. Boselli was also the first Jaguars player to be inducted in the Pride of the Jaguars, later joined by original owners Wayne and Delores Weaver, former receiver Jimmy Smith, quarterback Mark Brunell, and running back Fred Taylor. In 2014, Boselli was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame — the 30th USC Trojan to earn such honor.

Fred Taylor (1998-2008)

Prior to the 1998 NFL Draft, the Jaguars traded promising backup quarterback Rob Johnson to the Buffalo Bills in exchange for the Bills’ first and fourth round picks. That first round pick was the No. 9 overall selection and allowed head coach Tom Coughlin to select the elite running back he’d craved for the past three seasons.

Over the next 11 seasons, he would compile 13,632 total yards, 70 touchdowns, average 4.6 yards per carry, become the all-time leading rusher in franchise history, and put together a human highlight reel it seemed every week.

What about Jimmy Smith?

Left off the list is perennial Pro Bowl wide receiver Jimmy Smith. In his 11 seasons with the Jaguars, Smith had nine 1,000-yards seasons. His 12,287 career receiving yards ranks him 21st on the all-time list, above the likes of Hall of Fame receivers like Michael Irvin, Charlie Joyner, and Don Maynard.

You can see the full list of 25 semifinalists here.