JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) – ETSU football took the game field at William B. Greene Jr. Stadium on Tuesday, as they suited up for the first fully-padded practice of fall camp.

The squad went through two full-tackle sessions, allowing players and coaches to get a feel of the physicality of the group.

Second-year head coach George Quarles eluded to a simple fact about full-contact practices – it’s when you start separating the pretenders from the contenders.

“What changes – they know it’s live,” he said. “Because sometimes you’ll have guys, you know, they look like they’re going like to play. But, you want to make sure they’re making it.”

It was the first opportunity for the coaching staff to take a true look at a defense that includes a number of new faces.

One of the familiar faces, however, believes this full-padded period might be coming a little earlier than in previous years.

“You know, as far as like progression, I feel like, you know, this year we might be tackling a little bit earlier,” senior linebacker Stephen Scott said, “which is better, you know, kind of gets us more in shape and in-tune for the season.”

“I’ve learned a lot from my teammates first day, but I also have already had that common belief in them,” junior defensive back Sheldon Arnold II said. “Learning about them, as far as when they get on pads, we see it on film and learn from our mistakes. But I’ve always I’ve always had that confidence in them that they’ll come out there and play football.”

The players and coaching staff will get their first taste of live action during an intersquad scrimmage on Saturday.