SAN ANTONIO - It's pretty much the standard line at events such as this one: "It's always good to measure yourself against tougher competition and see how you stand against guys from other states."
But when it comes from the mouth of Denver (Colo.) Mullen quarterback Cyler Miles, it seems to have extra legitimacy.
The U.S. Army National Combine attracts some of the best high school juniors in the country - many of whom come from the top football states in the country, including the big three of Florida, Texas and California.
Miles, however, comes from Colorado, which is a mid-level state in terms of team talent. (RivalsHigh had it No. 24 in
our annual rankings).
His school - the now three-time defending Class 5A champion - is the dominant team. Some would say the only dominant team.
Heck, Miles himself isn't afraid to say it.
"No one in the state can compete with us," he said. "We lost a lot of seniors, but at a school like Mullen there are always kids ready to step up and take their place."
Such locker-room wall talk is unusual. Of course, so is Mullen, which has little trouble backing it up.
Mullen, which went 14-0 and finished No. 16 in the final RivalsHigh Top 100 rankings, has a 33-game winning streak and is 40-2 the past three seasons.
Scheduling issues, however, prevent it from measuring itself against other Rocky Mountain area powers, such as South Jordan (Utah) Bingham or Las Vegas (Nev.) Bishop Gorman. Simply put, locked-in games make it hard for Colorado teams to face out-of-state opponents.
"It would be great to get a chance to play against teams from other states," he said. "The games probably would be closer and more exciting and we'd probably get more credit."
Miles could benefit personally, too.
While he is considered a top quarterback prospect for the Class of 2012 and already has offers from Colorado and Cal and plenty of interest from other big-time schools, Miles is judged mainly on the potential and polish he shows at elite camps.
Not that he doesn't have the numbers.
Miles threw for over 2,000 yards with 20 TDs and just two interceptions while completing over 70 percent of his passes. He also ran for six TDs.
The trouble is, his playing time - or at least his number of passing attempts - was limited because his team was often so far ahead thanks to a defense that allowed just 89 points all season.
Miles showed his stuff at the national combine, zipping passes in 1-on-1 drills that many of the other quarterbacks struggled to make.
With him behind center, Mullen will start the year as the top team in Colorado and among the Top 100 nationally. Not that Miles will get the chance to go up against any of them.
"We can't control who we play, we just have to play who is on the schedule and make sure we do what we have to do," he said. "Next year, that's go for four in a row."