FILE - In this July 26, 2008 file photo, Kansas City Chiefs' Napoleon Harris is seen at training camp in River Falls, Wis. The former Northwestern football star, who went on to play seven seasons in the NFL, has announced he is running to replace Jesse Jackson Jr., in Illinois' 2nd Congressional District. Harris was just elected to the Illinois Senate. He is joining what's expected to be a crowded field bidding to replace Jackson, who resigned last week, citing his ongoing treatment for bipolar disorder. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner, File)

CHICAGO (AP) — Former NFL linebacker Napoleon Harris is running to replace Jesse Jackson Jr. in Congress.

Harris was just elected to the Illinois Senate, but he tells the Chicago Sun-Times ( ) that he’s been getting overwhelming support for his plan to run for the 2nd Congressional District seat. Jackson resigned last week.

Harris starred at Northwestern and was a first-round pick of the Oakland Raiders in 2002. He played seven seasons in the NFL and now owns two pizza franchises in the Chicago area.

Harris praised Jackson and says he’d like to continue the work he’s done in Congress. The field to replace the 47-year-old Democrat is expected to be a crowded one.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.