No player in Jaguars’ history is more closely linked to Tony Boselli than Mark Brunell.
Not only was Brunell the quarterback during Boselli’s Jacksonville career, but the two remain close friends well after their careers ended, Boselli in 2002 and Brunell in 2011.
On Saturday, the two will once again be on stage together when Brunell presents Boselli for enshrinement in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
“I am so pumped,” Brunell told The Mission, a podcast by the Pro Football Hall of Fame. “I think this is long overdue. We’ve been waiting for this moment for a long time and are absolutely thrilled that he is getting what he deserves.”
While both were starting for the Jaguars, the team went to two AFC championship games, won three AFC Central championships, and combined four eight Pro Bowl appearances. Both are honored on the walls of TIAA Bank Field in the Pride of the Jaguars.
“I had a front row seat on in his career, got to be on the field with it with him fortunate to be in the same huddle with him and see firsthand how he was as a player,” Brunell said. “And I’ll just say this, he’s one of the best I’ve ever been around. And certainly, the best offensive lineman I’ve ever played with. I’m so happy for him. It’s just well deserved. We’re all thrilled.”
Boselli was a wrecking ball as a left tackle. Physical and tough, but with the feet of a ballet dancer. While he could block a speed rusher, he was more satisfied dominating the player in front of him. He took the same approach when telling Brunell that he would the man to introduce Boselli in Canton.
“Yes, I was told I was told I was going to be a presenter,” Brunell said. “And we were having a conversation. This was a few months ago, and at the end, he says, ‘Hey, by the way, you’re going to present me the Hall of Fame.’ And I said is that are you asking me says, ‘No, I’m not really asking. I’m telling you.’ I said all right. We both laughed.”
Brunell, like Boselli, still lives in Jacksonville. While Boselli spends his time during the football season as part of the radio broadcast for the Jaguars and for Westwood One, Brunell is the quarterbacks’ coach in Detroit where he works under another friend and former teammate, Dan Campbell. Burnell knows how special the moment will be for Jaguars fans everywhere when Boselli slips on the Gold Jacket and has his bust placed in the Hall.
“I’m looking forward to seeing Tony Boselli go through the whole process,” Brunell said. “The ceremonies, the events. I’m looking forward to him wearing that Gold Jacket just to see it on him for the first time and see the emotion that comes out and watch his family. It truly is a celebration. It’s the most exclusive club in sports in my opinion.”
Saturday’s Hall of Fame enshrinement ceremony is scheduled to begin at noon.
You can see the full interview below: