A former professional football player is now patrolling the streets of Tampa Bay. His new team: the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.

Marcus Applefield was a standout lineman at Weeki Wachee High School. His play earned him a Division-I college football scholarship, which eventually led Applefield to becoming an undrafted free-agent with the Baltimore Ravens. Applefield’s time in the NFL spotlight lasted only two years. A back injury sidelined his sidelined his gridiron dreams. “Getting injured, I got put on IR (Injured Reserve). I had to make that decision after not getting cleared by a doctor a certain amount of times if football was to be continued for me,” Applefield said.

Applefield thought that he could become a lawyer, but being behind a desk didn’t sit well with him. “I knew the next best thing for me was to be on the road, in the streets, and helping the community in that way,” he said. That “next best thing” for the former football player became reality in 2020 when he became a deputy for the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.

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Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister welcomed Deputy Applefield to his new team. “Part of law enforcement is teamwork and Deputy Applefield certainly brings that attitude to his community and HCSO after years of playing football,” said Sheriff Chad Chronister. “The uniform change is distinct, but the mentality is not. I look forward to watching all of his success here with the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.”

The 6’5″ Applefield is currently assigned to District III and is keeping the streets of western Hillsborough County safe. “Just because the name was on my jersey, now it’s just right on the front next to a badge; it’s kind of the same thing,” said Deputy Applefield. You can see more from Deputy Applefield and his journey from the football field to law enforcement here:


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