"You get the bulk of everything installed and you can find out if this guy is going to take a year," he said. "Maybe it's physical, maybe it's mental, maybe it's psychological. It's usually a two or three week process and then you've got a game and you'll decide by then."
Now, each situation is fluid, Alex Balducci redshirted the first nine games before playing key snaps in the final four, but the input should be duly noted and we'll try to glean any details of who is likely to participate in the season-opener based off of the above information.
One position group that will not be affected by the readiness of new players is the defensive line, where the Ducks bring in exactly zero scholarship players.
"He leads by action. Everybody leads different and that's his way of leading. He does a good job of it, the guys respect him," Aiken said.
Even in Monday and Tuesday's blazing heat, Helfrich says the big fellas have led the team in effort.
"When you talk about the heat, if a guy who is 6-feet-12 inches 400 pounds can run on and off the field everybody else should too," he said.
A couple of tidbits regarding formation, Aiken referred to the Ducks' defense as a 3-4, explaining that the drop-end, as many believed, is coached by Alliotti and considered to be another OLB. Aiken also expressed the belief that each position along the DL is interchangeable.
"We've got defensive lineman. Those guys can play different positions," he said. "Taylor Hart sometimes will line up sometimes as an outside guy and Arik will line up as a nose tackle. On the next series, you might see them flip."
The body type to fulfill that flexibility can be quite specific, something that the 2012 recruiting class highlighted very well.
"We look for long guys, big guys. It always helps to play with big guys, with long arms."