Cranbrook Football hosted a Signing Day Event who will play college football as a part of their future academic careers.
With the Cranbrook family present, a unique moment occurred. A rising program took time to salute its achievement- scholar athletes who will play football at top level colleges and universities.
Defensive end Chris Smith, cornerback Marqis Stokes, and offensive tackle Tim Hauxwell will join the ranks of college athletes playing football in the fall of 2018.
Anchor and Captain
Chris Smith will play football at Harvard University in Cambridge, MA..
A four-year starter for Cranbrook Football, Chris became a central figure in the rise of Cranbrook football. A two-way starter on the offensive and defensive lines, Chris set a high standard play with his strength and endurance. In his 4 year career, Chris amassed 240 tackles, with 22 tackles for a loss. He was also responsible for 12 sacks, 7 fumble recoveries, and 1 TD.
Chris provided memorable performances through the years. As a freshman, his breakout game was a 9 tackle performance in their 2014 loss to Riverview Gabriel Richard. The very next year, he dominated in the same game, providing 10 tackles, 6 hurries, 1 batted down pass, and a 20-yard sack as the Cranes registered a 14-13 dramatic win. In the 2015 playoff loss to Detroit Country Day, he had 15 tackles.
In his junior year, Chris had a 10 tackle, 2 TFL performance in Cranbrook’s 36-21 first ever win over Waterford Our Lady of the Lakes. He registered a 2-sack, 2 batted down pass performance in the Cranbrook 41-7 rout of Lutheran North two weeks later. Leading a stingy defense, Chris would help Cranbrook become Catholic League champions for the first time in 2016.
As a senior, he would anchor a defense that posted six shutouts and a 10-2 record. The Cranes marched to another Catholic League Championship and registered their first ever MHSAA District Championship. He would make 75 tackles, 5 tackles for a loss, 3 sacks, and 1 fumble recovery, while playing through an injury as a captain.
“Chris has been a critical element of our program, providing a workman’s effort every game,” said Cranes Head Coach Joe D’Angelo. “Chris has been a leader in the weight room, in the classroom, in the locker room, and in the classroom. He embodies the best of Cranbrook Football.”
Chris was awarded the following honors: named to the 2017 All-State team by the Michigan High School Coaches Association, 2017 Detroit News All-North First Team, 2017 Overall MVP, Cranbrook Football. 2016 All-Division Team in D4 by the Detroit Free Press 3X All-Catholic League by the CHSL; 3X All-Oakland County, Class of 2018 Watch List by The D Zone; All-State Defensive Team, D1Freak.com; Class of 2018, Top Ten Lineman, D1Freak.com.
He was a nominee to the 2018 MHSFCA East vs. West All-Star Game.
Chris received college football offers from Lehigh, Cornell, Columbia, Yale, and Harvard.
Triple Crane Threat
Marqis Stokes will play football at The University of Findlay in Findlay, OH.
Named a captain in his senior year, Marqis demonstrated great resilience- coming back from injury that limited his junior year playing time. He returned to dominate in a secondary that allowed only 5 passing TD’s all year and had 16 interceptions.
Playing multiple positions in his career, Marqis was a triple threat-a force on offense, defense, and special teams.
As an offensive player playing WR and RB, Marqis amassed 1043 total yards. He had 652 yards on 33 receptions, and 197 yards rushing on 47 attempts. Marqis was a “clutch” receiver, the player that got needed yardage to keep a drive going. He caught 6 TD passes in his career, and ran for 4 TD’s as well.
As a defensive player playing CB, Marqis had 84 tackles, and 7 interceptions, including 2 TD’s He also had 5 TFL in his career as a blitzing corner. Senior year, two of his interceptions were in successive games, causing opponents to target the opposite side of the field for the rest of the season.
On special teams, he made major contributions. As a kickoff/punt returner, Marqis gained 195 yards, averaging 11.2 yards a return.
In his career, Marqis was named MaxPreps Player of the Game three times on offense and three times on defense.
In 2015, he was named MaxPreps Overall Player of the Game in a 42-6 win over Clarenceville. In that game, he caught 2 passes for 129 yards, including a 95-yard touchdown. Marquis also rushed 4 times for 27 yards and a TD. On defense, Marquis added an interception. He also made 5 solo tackles and had 2 assists in that game.
“Marqis made great contributions on the field,” said Coach D’Angelo. “A versatile player that showed up at key moments, he was a threat to score every time he touched on the field. “He gave us a chance to win in all three phases of the game.”
His list of awards include being named 2017 All-Catholic by the CHSL, named 2015 All-League by the CHSL, named to the Class of 2018 Watch List by The D Zone, named to the Top Ten DB’s of the Class of 2018 by D1 Freak. He won the CK Coaches Award his senior year for his versatile playmaking ability.
To highlight his importance, in Cranbrook’s first ever MHSAA playoff victory, Marqis registered 10 tackles, 3 TFL’s, 1 fumble recovery, and 1 interception. He also ran for 61 yards and scored a touchdown.
In the Cranes first ever District Championship victory, once again Marqis showed his versatile nature. Led the team in receiving yardage, kickoff returns, and deflected a late game pass that was intercepted by Cranbrook to preserve the victory.
“Marqis always showed up for the big games and stood out in every phase. He was a bona fide triple threat,” said D’Angelo.
Marqis received offers from Oberlin, Hillsdale, Kenyon Lawrence Tech, Wayne State, Blufton University, Mt. Union and the University of Findlay.
Crane over the Mountain
Tim Hauxwell will play college football at Michigan Tech University in Houghton, MI.
“Tim has developed into a fine football player. He showed great improvements each year”, said Coach D’Angelo.
A 4 year varsity player, Tim learned the finer techniques of playing offensive line in high school. Using his long arms and quick feet, Tim became proficient in pass blocking and run blocking.
"Of the all the kids signing today, Tim has come the farthest in his football growth since day one," said D'Angelo. "He's climbed the highest mountain to get here today."
His presence on the offensive line helped to define one of the most potent offenses Cranbrook has ever seen.
In his 4 years, the Cranbrook offense amassed 5655 yards passing and 6263 yards rushing, averaging just under 3000 total yards per season.
“Our ability to pass and run effectively grew over the last 4 years. Tim’s development was a key factor in the improvement”, said D’Angelo.
His list of awards include the following- named to the 2017 AP All State 2nd Team; 2017 Detroit News All-North Honorable Mention; 2017 Detroit Free Press All-North Honorable Mention; 2017 All-Catholic, CHSL; 2017 Cranbrook Unsung Hero Award; 2016 All-League player by the Catholic High School League. 2016 Oakland All-County Honorable Mention Team by the Oakland Press, Class of 2018 Watch List by the D Zone.
In his most memorable game, Tim faced DE Aiden Hutchinson, a Blue Chip recruit from Dearborn Divine Child who will play at the University of Michigan. While Cranbrook didn’t win that contest, Tim didn’t allow a sack in that game.
“Tim faced some tough competition and withstood the challenge, “said D’Angelo.
A fine basketball player as well, Tim was the leading scorer for the Cranbrook basketball team as its starting center. For the 2016-17 basketball season, Tim was named to the list of the Top 12 Best Big Men in the state of Michigan by MLive. In 2018,Cranbrook basketball began the season with a 13-0 record.
Tim received offers from Lawrence Tech, The South Dakota School of Mines, The University of Mt. Union, and Albion College, and Michigan Tech.