Souders on a 1948 Bowman football card
|Born:||January 3, 1921|
|NFL Draft:||1945 / Round: 25 / Pick: 259|
(By the Washington Redskins)
|Career NFL statistics|
Cecil Belvedire "Cy" Souders (born January 3, 1921) is a former American football player. He played professional in the National Football League (NFL) for the Detroit Lions. As of March 2020, he is reputedly the oldest living former NFL player.
Souders was born in Bucyrus, Ohio. He played football for Bucyrus High School. He was team captain his senior year and was chosen to play with the Ohio High School All-Stars, which played against the Florida All-Stars in the Kumquat Bowl in St. Petersburg, Florida on December 26, 1938. He was captain of this team and they played to a 0-0 tie.
College and military career
While at the Kumquat Bowl, Souders was recruited by Louisiana State University and planned to go to there on a full scholarship. He was later convinced by coaches at Ohio State University, however, to go there. Souders played college football at Ohio State, where he was a three-time All-American from 1942-1946. He also played in two East–West Shrine Games and one All Star game. He had been a member of the Buckeyes' "taxi squad" in 1939, but he left the team and was married. In 1942, he received a letter from new coach Paul Brown, and Souders returned to football, living near the stadium with wife Jean and daughter Sharon.
Souders was drafted in the 25th round of the 1945 NFL Draft by the Washington Redskins, but ended up playing three years for the Detroit Lions. In 1947 he played in 11 games (starting 4) with 15 receptions for 184 yards and his only career touchdown. In 1948 he played in 12 games, starting 6, with 2 receptions for 19 yards. In 1949, he played in 12 games, starting 4, with 0 receptions. He ended his career with 17 receptions for 203 yards.
Souders and Jean Hoover, who was a Bucyrus High School cheerleader, were married in 1939 in Kentucky. After football, he was a salesman for Suburban Motor Freight Company, managing the Detroit terminal. After 38 years, he became executive vice president, retiring in 1984. As of 2019 Souders and his wife of 80 years, Jean, were living in Florida but planned to move back to Ohio.