Napoleon Harris
No. --     Free Agent
Personal information
Date of birth: (1979-02-25) February 25, 1979 (age 41)
Place of birth: Chicago, Illinois
Height: 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m) Weight: 250 lb (113 kg)
Career information
College: Northwestern
NFL Draft: 2002 / Round: 1 / Pick: 23
Debuted in 2002 for the Oakland Raiders
Career history
*Offseason and/or practice squad member only
Career highlights and awards
  • 2× Second-team All-Big Ten (2000–2001)
Career NFL statistics as of 2008
Tackles     481
Sacks     8.5
Forced fumbles     4
Stats at

Napoleon Harris (born February 25, 1979) is the State Senator for Illinois' 15th Senate District. The 15th district includes all or parts of Dolton, Harvey, Homewood, Midlothian, Riverdale, South Holland and Steger.[1]

He is a former American football linebacker. He played college football at Northwestern and was drafted by the Oakland Raiders in the first round of the 2002 NFL Draft. Harris has also played for the Minnesota Vikings and Kansas City Chiefs.

Early yearsEdit

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. Harris was a football and basketball teammate of current Free Agent wide receiver Antwaan Randle El.

College careerEdit

He played both football and basketball (one year) at Northwestern. 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.

Professional careerEdit

First stint with RaidersEdit

Harris was drafted in the first round of the 2001 draft by the Oakland Raiders, the 23rd overall pick. That year he started 13 of 16 regular-season games and all three playoff games for the Super Bowl XXXVII loser Oakland Raiders and was named to the Pro Football Weekly All-Rookie team.

First stint with VikingsEdit

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.

Kansas City ChiefsEdit

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.[2][3]

The Chiefs released Harris on October 14, 2008.

Second stint with VikingsEdit

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.

Second stint with RaidersEdit

Harris signed a one-year contract with the Oakland Raiders on August 24, 2009 after the team released cornerback Ricky Manning. Harris was released just five days later after reportedly being "out of shape" and "not ready to play."[4]


In June 2006, Napoleon married his high school friend Nicole Bunton (Harris). The couple has one son, Napoleon Harris IV (born February 23, 2008). He now is the owner of two Beggars Pizza locations and currently represents the 15th district in the Illinois State Senate.

He is the cousin of San Diego Chargers defensive tackle Tommie Harris.[5]

Harris ran for the congressional seat vacated by Jesse Jackson Jr.,[6] but dropped out after two months, endorsing Robin Kelly.[7]


In May 2008, Napoleon appeared on The CW Network series The Game.[citation needed]


External linksEdit

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