Former NFL player becomes Fla. deputy after injury

Marcus Applefield, 26, wanted to become a sheriff’s deputy after suffering a life-altering injury


By Amanda Spence

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. — A former NFL player, Marcus Applefield, 26, had a goal of becoming a deputy after he suffered an injury that kept him from playing professionally again.

WFLA reported Applefield was raised in the Tampa Bay area, and he was a breakout football star at his local high school. He was the first player from his school to get a Division I football scholarship offer. He went on to sign with the Baltimore Ravens as a free agent.

Applefield joined the sheriff’s office in 2020, and he patrols the county’s District III, which is western Hillsborough County.

“A lot of players, when they get done playing football, it’s so easy to stay in the football realm,” Applefield explained. “But for me personally, I figured my whole life, I’ve been a football player and I wanted to be something different for once. That’s why I joined HCSO.”

Applefield serves as an inspiration to others that there is life and purpose after the game.

“For an athlete that doesn’t have a path that’s planned, I would tell them that at the end of the day, they’re not just a person in a jersey, and on the television,” Applefield said. “They can affect the community in so many different other ways, and make a positive influence.”

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