Napoleon Harris

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Napoleon Harris
Member of the Illinois Senate
from the 15th district
Assumed office
January 9, 2013 (2013-Jan-09)
Preceded by James T. Meeks
Personal details
Born (1979-02-25) February 25, 1979 (age 36)
Chicago, Illinois
Political party Democratic
Residence Flossmoor, Illinois
Alma mater Northwestern University
Profession Businessman
Professional athlete
Religion Baptist

Napoleon Bill Harris (born February 25, 1979) is an American politician and former American football linebacker who has been a member of the Illinois Senate representing the 15th district since 2013. The 15th district stretches from Blue Island in the north, Calumet City in the east, Homewood in the west, Steger in the south, and includes all or parts of Crete-Monee, Dolton, Flossmoor, Glenwood, Thornton, Markham, Midlothian, Oak Forrest, Harvey, Riverdale, and South Holland.[1]

Prior to his service in the Illinois Senate he was a linebacker in the National Football League for a total of seven seasons with the Oakland Raiders, the Minnesota Vikings, and Kansas City Chiefs at various times.

Early life[edit]

Harris grew up in Dixmoor, Illinois. He attended Lincoln Elementary School, Rosa L. Parks Middle School, and Thornton Township High School. He was a tri-star athlete and honor student. His father died his junior year of high school.

Harris was an honors student at Thornton Township High School in Harvey, Illinois and lettered in football and basketball. In football, he posted 23 sacks, 98 tackles, two fumble recoveries, 1 forced fumbles, two safeties, and one interception and was named the Defensive Player of the Year by the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, Star Publications, Daily Southtown, and the Hammond Times. Napoleon also averaged 18 points and 10 rebounds on the #1 basketball team in the country.[citation needed]

Harris enrolled at Northwestern University, where he played college football for the Northwestern Wildcats. For one year, he was a two sport athlete playing basketball. His complete college career ranked 11th on Northwestern's all-time tackles list with 334. All-Big Ten Conference as a senior after starting all 11 games at defensive end after moving from outside linebacker and ranked fourth on team in tackles with 78.[citation needed]

NFL career[edit]

Napoleon Harris
Napoleon Harris.JPG
Napoleon Harris with the Kansas City Chiefs
No. 58, 50, 99
Position: Defensive end
Personal information
Height: 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Weight: 250 lb (113 kg)
Career information
College: Northwestern
NFL draft: 2002 / Round: 1 / Pick: 23
Career history
 * Offseason and/or practice squad member only
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Tackles: 481
Sacks: 8.5
Forced fumbles: 4
Stats at
Pre-draft measurables
Ht Wt Arm length Hand size 40-yd dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20-ss 3-cone Vert Broad BP
6 ft 3 in 253 lb 32 in 10 in 4.55 s 1.60 s 2.64 s 4.44 s 7.15 s 34 in 9 ft 7 in 27 reps
All measurables were taken at the NFL Scouting Combine;[2] see also scouting report

Harris was drafted in the first round of the 2002 draft by the Oakland Raiders, the 23rd overall pick. That year he started 13 of 16 regular-season games, all three playoff games, and Super Bowl XXXVII for the Oakland Raiders and was named to the Pro Football Weekly All-Rookie team.

In 2005, Harris was acquired by the Minnesota Vikings as part of blockbuster trade which sent Randy Moss to Oakland for the seventh overall pick and a seventh-round pick in the 2005 NFL Draft. The Vikings used the picks to select wide receiver Troy Williamson and cornerback Adrian Ward. Despite being traded for one of the premier players in the National Football League, Harris did not immediately live up to his potential the following season with the Minnesota Vikings. In that first season with the Vikings, he was hampered with a lingering knee injury and saw limited playing time. However in the second season he finished second on the team with 96 tackles, 3 interceptions, 3.5 sacks and 2 fumble recoveries in 14 games.

On March 6, 2007, Harris agreed to a six-year deal with the Kansas City Chiefs. Harris previously visited the Tampa Bay Buccaneers before meeting with Kansas City.[3][4] The Chiefs released Harris on October 14, 2008. Just two days after his release from the Chiefs, Harris re-joined the Minnesota Vikings on October 16. Harris started in 5 of the 10 games he played and finished his second stint with the Vikings with 32 tackles and 1 sack, and also scored his first NFL touchdown after returning a fumble 27 yards in week 12 in Jacksonville. Despite a fairly good performance, the Vikings did not hold on to him.

In May 2008, Napoleon appeared on The CW Network series The Game.[5] Harris signed a one-year contract with the Oakland Raiders on August 24, 2009 after the team released cornerback Ricky Manning, but was released five days later.[6]

NFL stats[edit]

2002 OAK 15 81 59 22 0.5 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2
2003 OAK 16 107 74 33 2.0 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2
2004 OAK 14 61 47 14 0.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
2005 MIN 15 25 18 7 1.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3
2006 MIN 14 59 42 17 2.5 1 0 0 3 20 7 11 0 4
2007 KC 16 116 82 34 1.5 1 0 0 1 4 4 4 0 3
2008 MIN 10 32 24 8 1.0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Career 100 481 346 135 8.5 5 1 0 4 24 6 11 0 15



Illinois Senate[edit]

After leaving the NFL, Harris returned to his hometown with his wife Nicole Bunton and their two sons where he became the owner of two Beggars Pizza locations.[8]

In 2011, after Illinois State Senator James Meeks announced his retirement, Harris chose to run to succeed him in the 15th district on a platform of creating economic growth for the district.[8] He won the 2012 primary with a plurality of the vote against two opponents,[9] and ran in the general election unopposed.[10]

2013 special election[edit]

Harris ran for the congressional seat vacated by Jesse Jackson Jr.,[11] but dropped out after two months, endorsing Robin Kelly.[12]


  1. ^ Veeneman, Drew. "Map of 15th District" (PDF). Retrieved December 19, 2012. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ Teicher, Adam. Chiefs agree to terms with free-agent LB Harris The Kansas City Star, March 6, 2007.
  4. ^ Chiefs agree to terms with UFA LB Napoleon Harris, March 6, 2007.
  5. ^ "The Game: Season 2, Episode 19 I Got 99 Problems and My Chick Is One (11 May 2008)". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 2015-07-27. 
  6. ^
  7. ^ "Napoleon Harris Stats". ESPN. ESPN Internet Ventures. Retrieved December 23, 2014. 
  8. ^ a b Jensen, Sean. "Napoleon Harris Seeks Illinois Senate Seat to put Dixmoor Back in the Game". Daily Herald. Retrieved May 22, 2013. 
  9. ^ "GENERAL PRIMARY - 3/20/2012 15TH SENATE". Illinois State Board of Elections. Retrieved May 22, 2013. 
  10. ^ "GENERAL ELECTION - 11/6/2012 15TH SENATE". Illinois State Board of Elections. Retrieved May 22, 2013. 
  11. ^ "Former NFL linebacker to run for Jackson Jr.'s seat". The Hill. Retrieved November 27, 2012. 
  12. ^ Pearson, Rick (January 31, 2013). "Harris drops out of race for Jackson Jr. seat". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved January 29, 2013. 

External links[edit]

Illinois Senate