Helfrich split the frosh up into three categories: will play, will redshirt and a third gray area for guys who, like Alex Balducci last season, have not seen the door completely shut on their freshman campaigns.
The five freshman who have been guaranteed to play this year are running back Thomas Tyner and tight end Johnny Mundt on offense, linebackers Torrodney Prevot and Tyrell Robinson on defense and kicker Matt Wogan, who remains in a tight battle with Alejandro Maldanado for place kicking and kickoff duties.
Helfrich named quarterback Damion Hobbs, wide receiver Darren Carrington, offensive lineman Elijah George and Doug Brenner as redshirted players on offense and defensive backs Tyree Robinson, Chris Seisay and Juwaan Williams on defense.
Helfrich admitted that it can be a challenge to keep the freshman mentally locked in following a decision day.
"This is a huge development time for them. We encourage them to stay with it mentally, stay focused. Is there a little bit of a natural let down? Maybe. But you try to get their eyes focused on the future." he said.
"You want to see how guys respond and we just had a great practice. You don't want to see the guys either ease up because they think they've made it in the world, or the guys go into the tank because they're redshirting. They're were no visible signs of that." Several depth chart notes were also discussed, namely that Mana Greig and Hamani Stevens are set to start at the two guards spots with Everette Benyard and Andre Yruretagoyena backing them up.
But Helfrich was quick to establish the importance of the "Or" on the depth chart, meaning that competition battle for that position are not complete and multiple players will continue to Duke it out for the spot.
"There's a bunch of 'Ors'," he said.
Maldanado is set to open the season as the team's punter, replacing Jackson Rice, while he and Wogan are still battling for the place kicking position.
The linebacking position battles appear to be at such a head that Helfrich was not able to divulge the status for the inside backing positions, but did say that Tony Washington and Boseko Lokombo are set to start on the outside. Listed as reserve OLBs were Tyson Coleman, Torrodney Prevot and Oshay Dunmore.
Dunmore, a redshirt freshman, had been recruited and practiced as a safety last year, but has since made the transition to playing both OLB and S.
"He's been moving around quite a bit… Between Tyson and Oshay they're versatile, athletic and tough guys. So we've been trying to cross-train those guys as much as possible," Helfrich explained that Coleman would play all four LB positions.
Now into Nicholls prep week, Helfrich gave a brief overview of the opening opponent, saying that they're "different schematically" on defense and "conventional" formationally on offense.