The Vols received commitments for the 2007 class from Darnius Moore, a 6-foot, 175-pound athlete from Tatum (Texas) High School, and Rolando Melancon, a 6-2, 270-pound defensive lineman from Lutcher (La.) High.
Both prospects cited a relationship with UT wide receivers coach Trooper Taylor as reasons why they committed to the Vols.
"Every time I talked to him, we barely talked about the recruiting process," said Melancon, who was primarily considering LSU, Ole Miss and Arkansas along with Michigan and Nebraska. "We talked about growing as a man. He stood out for me since day one."
Day one for Melancon's recruitment came early. While coaching for Tulane, Taylor first noticed Melancon playing as an eighth-grader while he was recruiting another prospect for the Green Wave.
"That kind of shocked me," said Melancon, who also was recruited by UT defensive tackles coach Dan Brooks. "I barely remember that game."
Moore had scholarship offers from other schools but said he was primarily considering Oklahoma, Florida and Arkansas before committing to UT.
When asked why he committed to UT, getting on the field the way he wanted was key.
"They said I could come out and play early and play wide receiver," Moore said.
Other schools promised the same opportunity but UT's pledge must have rung true. Moore was being recruited by several schools to primarily play in the secondary.
"Some of them wanted me to play defense," Moore said.
Moore said the opportunity to play for the same coach who recruited him, Taylor, also was appealing.
Moore's decision is expected to influence Tatum running back Lennon Creer, who took his official visit to UT in September.
"I'm waiting," Creer told The Austin American-Statesman about the recruiting process in a story published Monday. "I think I'm going to announce it in January. But I don't know. All I know is I want to announce it with my teammate, Darnius Moore."
Moore and Creer were second team selections in Class 2A in the state of Texas last month.
Moore said he made the decision over the holiday weekend. For Melancon, the decision was made long ago.
"When I took my visit (on Nov. 4 when UT played host to LSU), that sealed the deal," Melancon said. "There's something about Rocky Top. It always had me wanting to play there.
"It's a relief. I could have made it months ago. I just wanted to wait for the right time so I could tell the whole family (during Christmas)."
Melancon fills a big need for UT. The Vols only have two defensive linemen, including just one defensive tackle, committed for the 2007 class.
"Coach Brooks said I've got a similar game to (UT senior defensive lineman) Turk McBride," Melancon said.
The Vols have 26 commitments for the 2007 class. They are expected to sign approximately 28 to 30 players. National signing day is Feb. 7.