Speaking by phone with InsideTennessee, Mostella said he really clicked with head coach Donnie Tyndall during a visit to the UT campus earlier this week.
"I like everything about Tennessee, mostly the new coach," Mostella said. "He told me I could help the program to do bigger and better things, help win an SEC championship."
Like many prospects who visit The Hill, Mostella was impressed with 20,000-seat Thompson-Boling Arena and the state-of-the-art Pratt Pavilion practice facility.
"Phenomenal," he said. "I knew when I saw it I could help Tennessee to do bigger and better things."
Ultimately, though, the key to his decision appears to be the immediate bond with Tyndall.
"He's a pretty good guy," Mostella said. "I love his enthusiasm. He's a hard worker, and this is just the beginning of his program."
The 6-foot-3, 170-pound shooting guard grew up in Decatur, Ala. He was rated a four-star recruit and a top-100 prospect by Scout as a high school senior at La Lumiere School in Laporte, Ind., where he averaged nearly 18 points per game and became known for his dynamic dunks.
He committed to the Oklahoma State Cowboys in November of 2012, then to the Pitt Panthers in July of 2013 over offers from Georgetown, Providence and Miami (Fla.). He never enrolled, however, spending the 2013-14 school year at Notre Dame Prep in Fitchburg, Mass.
Mostella is the third recruit to cast his lot with Tennessee in the past week. Previously signed were 6-foot-8 forward Jabari McGhee of Hargrave Military Academy in Virginia and 6-foot-4 JUCO All-America shooting guard Kevin Punter of State Fair Community College in Missouri.
McGhee, Punter and Mostella join 2013-14 holdovers Josh Richardson, Armani Moore, Derek Reese and Rawane Ndiaye to give the Vols seven scholarship players for 2014-15. They have six scholarships available to reach the NCAA limit of 13.
All four November signees were granted releases from the scholarships they signed last fall but there is a chance Tyndall can talk 6-foot-8 power forward Phil Cofer (Fayetteville, Ga.) into re-signing with the Vols. There also is a chance Tyndall can sway three rising sophomores who recently asked for releases – shooting guard Robert Hubbs, point guard Darius Thompson and power forward A.J. Davis.
Even if two of the four players come back into the fold, Tennessee's roster will feature just nine scholarship players, four below the maximum. Tyndall is evaluating several fifth-year transfers, some junior college transfers and a few high school prospects as he looks to bolster his depleted roster.