SALT LAKE CITY — Former BYU and NFL player Jason Buck announced he will run for Congress as a Republican in Utah's 2nd District.

"For too long, Utah's representative in the 2nd Congressional District has been a willing participant in the rampant overspending and ever-increasing size of the federal government," Buck said in a statement. "It's time that our representative in the 2nd District believes what Utah voters believe and votes the way Utahns want him to vote."

Buck had voiced his intentions to run last fall, but was not sure if he would run in the 2nd District or the newly formed 4th District. He announced he would run for the 2nd District Thursday, a seat currently held by Democrat Jim Matheson. Matheson, however, is running for the 4th District seat.

"He had been preparing to run against Congressman Matheson for some time," said Dan Hauser, a spokesman from Buck's campaign. "He just felt that (the 2nd District) was a right fit for him."

Buck believes Republican Carl Wimmer will be able to defeat Matheson in the 4th District, Hauser said.

Buck, a Highland resident, played football for BYU and was drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals in 1987. He played in two Super Bowl games in his career, losing to the San Francisco 49ers in 1989 and beating the Buffalo Bills in 1992 after he had been traded to the Washington Redskins. He became a part owner of the Utah Blaze last year.

Buck joins a crowded field of six other candidates: Cherilyn Eager, Chris Stewart, Chuck Williams, Howard Wallack, John Willoughby and Dave Clark.