The Big 12's top 40 players begins today

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

Forty days seemed like a nice, round figure to count down the best players in the Big 12 heading into the upcoming season.

We're 40 days away from the conclusion of all Big 12 spring practices with Kansas State's spring game on May 2. As such, today starts our countdown of the Big 12's best this spring.

Here's our first installment, the 40th best player in the Big 12

Player: Matt Clapp
Team: Oklahoma
Position: Fullback
: 6-foot-3, 234 pounds, Sr., Phoenix, Ariz. (Paradise Valley High School)

Why he was picked
: Universally considered one of the most underrated players in the conference because of his blocking and pass-catching abilities. He earned first-team honors last season as the conference's top fullback with nine catches for 92 yards and three TD receptions. He also had seven carries for 21 yards last season, but blocking was why he was picked.

What 2009 will hold: Likely, a lot more blocking. Look for Clapp to be busy as the Sooners break in four new offensive linemen in front of him.