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Before the Badge: Former NFL player joins HCSO

For Immediate Release : Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office
Release Number: 22-132



Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office
Before the Badge: Former NFL player joins HCSO

When a career-ending injury prevented him from ever playing football professionally again, Deputy Marcus Applefield honed in on a new dream: a career in law enforcement.

"A lot of players, when they get done playing football, it's so easy to stay in the football realm," said Deputy Applefield. "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."

Deputy Applefield, 26, grew up in the Tampa Bay area and was a standout football player at Weeki Wachee High School. He was the first player from his high school to receive a Division I football scholarship offer. He later signed on as a free agent with the National Football League's Baltimore Ravens before joining HCSO. 

"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," added Deputy Applefield. "They can affect the community in so many different other ways, and make a positive influence."

"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."

Deputy Applefield joined the Sheriff's Office in 2020. He currently patrols within HCSO's District III, serving western Hillsborough County.

"Before the Badge" showcases the trials and tribulations #teamHCSO staff has faced getting to where they are today. It will highlight the many different countries they are from, as well.

The seventh episode of "Before the Badge" featuring Deputy Applefield is available for viewing here.

The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office is currently hiring law enforcement, detention, and non-sworn (civilian) positions. To learn more about current openings or to apply for a position with the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office, please visit our website at

At this time, HCSO is also offering:

  • Signing bonuses
  • Paid training
  • Free medical option
For more information, you can also contact the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office Recruitment and Screening Section at (813) 318-5300.

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