Walker County Sheriff Steve Wilson named the men as 20-year-old Grant Lockenbach and 18-year-old Michael Pirie.
Authorities say they were among 10 students from Gainesville, Fla., who went exploring in Ellison's Cave on Saturday.
Witnesses told officials that someone dropped a bag down a pit. They say Lockenbach rappelled down to retrieve the bag but got tangled in his ropes. They say Pirie went down to help but also got stuck.