The Fork Union Scoop!

Three commitments from the Clemson 2004 recruiting class attended Fork Union Academy this fall. caught up with the coaching staff at Fork Union to get the latest on future Tigers Phillip Merling, Elsmore Gabriel and Durrell Barry as well as Derrick McPhearson.

The Tigers have three of their former players at Fork Union this fall, including New York native DL Elsmore Gabriel, TE/DL Phillip Merling, and TE/ATH Durrell Barry.

Merling is a 4-star prospect by, while Barry is a designated 3-stars, and Gabriel two. All three prospects are expected to enroll at Clemson next year, with Gabriel having the potential to enroll in January.

Coach Clark, who coaches receivers and safeties for Fork Union gave us his comments on the future Tigers as well as wide receiver prospect Derrick McPhearson, who will visit Clemson in January.

Phillip Merling: "I thought he did well this year. He was one of our best players. He is a good tight end and also played good at defensive end. He is a good team leader and a great tackler. He is up to around 265 pounds right now and has great hands for a big guy."

Elsmore Gabriel: "He was okay for us this year. He had 80 plays, 3 assisted tackles, 1 tackle for loss, 1.5 sacks, 1 QB hit and 1 QB hurry for us. He will be a good defensive end, but he needs some time. He will be flying down to Clemson this weekend for a visit. He's not eligible yet, but he could still make it for January."

Durrell Barry: "He got banged up in the third or forth game of the season when he hurt his elbow. He came back and played the last game though. He was our starting quarterback when he was healthy. He did a good job at quarterback and also played tight end some in practice. I think he will be a tight end at Clemson."

Derrick McPhearson: "He is a nice speedy guy. He played some punt returns for us. We looked at him on defense but he is a receiver. His strength is going after the ball. He can get up and catch it. He is also a good route runner." also spoke with Fork Union Head Coach John Shuman to get his comments on Gabriel, Merling, and Barry, as well as 4-star receiver Derrick McPhearson.

Phillip Merling: "He is the 2004 points champ for our team. He had eight sacks and 12 tackles for loss. He had six touchdowns as a tight end. He is way ahead of everybody. He will be an inside guy. I think he could be like an Eric Coleman. He has great speed. He's a fast pace guy."

Durrell Barry: "He played quarterback for us until he was hurt. He did a good job for us at quarterback. He's a fast paced guy."

Derrick McPhearson: "He's wide open. He wants Miami to jump in there but they are taking their time." will continue to keep you updated on these future Tigers. Top Stories