By TREY WILLIAMS
Missing her sophomore season at Daniel Boone didn’t slow down Brylee Mesusan’s recruitment process.
The speedy center fielder snagged her dream offer last week and quickly committed to the Tennessee Lady Volunteers.
“It’s been a big dream of mine to go to UT,” Mesusan said. “I’ve been to a ton of their slapping camps. And I told my travel coach (South Carolina Elite’s Dana Fusetti) when I joined my national team that my dream was to go to UT.
“She was like, ‘I can get you there, Brylee, but we’re gonna have to put some work in.’ So I’ve been working really hard. It was awesome to hear from them.”
Mesusan helped Boone go 44-7 as a freshman in 2019, stealing 36 bases in 38 attempts. But the coronavirus pandemic stole her sophomore season. The Trailblazers had dreams of a state tournament run.
“That was tough,” Mesusan said. “We definitely could’ve gone far. We had Nico (Ferguson) pitching. It would’ve been a good season. And our bats were awesome.”
College coaches were able to watch Mesusan’s travel tournaments streamed live online.
Mesusan jumps out on camera. Her blazing-fast times to first base, depending on whether she slaps or takes a full swing, range from 2.62 to 2.68. A 2.8 is more than respectable in the SEC, which led to a quick decision by Tennessee coaches Ralph and Karen Weekly.
“In talking to UT, they really liked my speed,” Mesusan said. “So that was a lot of it.”
Mesusan has attended numerous Lady Vols games growing up. The Weeklys have impressed her.
“I love their coaching style,” she said. “Their coaches are so amazing. I love talking to them.
“I went to a prospect camp for them back in the fall and that was when I really started to like them.
“They knew I was from Daniel Boone and they’d seen tons of girls. So that was awesome just for them to be that personal.”
Daniel Boone coach Jeremy Jenkins lauded Mesusan’s work ethic.
“She deserves it, because she is living proof that you get what you put into it,” Jenkins said. “She works at it hard. We’re proud of her.
“We’re excited for her. That was her lifelong goal to go down there. And for her to commit in her junior year – she had a great summer and we’re really tickled for her.”
Mesusan offered unsolicited praise for Jenkins.
“Coach Jenkins has helped me a ton and I love him so much,” Mesusan said. “He stays on all of us. He keeps us grounded and he’s not afraid to yell at you – in the best way possible.”
Jenkins anticipates Mesusan making an impact in Knoxville.
“She can run,” he said. “That’s the name of the game: speed. I think she can go down there and do some stuff for ‘em.”
Mesusan also thanked her parents, her grandparents, including grandfather Steve Milhorn, coaches Tonya Jenkins and Bill Wagner and her original travel ball coach of five years, Lee Patsel.
“My parents have been amazing, so supportive,” she said.
“There’s no person that probably has a better support system than me, like, my papaw, my grandparents. They’re at all of my games; my papaw is, especially. Papaw has taught me this game.”
And the family won’t have too far to travel for home games in college.
Getting an offer from her favorite college team since childhood was surreal.
“It was amazing to be able to hear I could go there,” Mesusan said, “because I’d never really thought of that as an option.”