Tate Martell can look around the Ohio State quarterback room and see the challenges both present and future. He is undaunted.

Last month, the highly decorated freshman arrived at OSU, having been named the Gatorade national player of the year after finishing an undefeated career at Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas.

But now Martell is starting from scratch among a quarterback group stacked with talent. J.T. Barrett is the incumbent and will be determined to end his storied Buckeyes career with a flourish.

Then there are Joe Burrow, the backup in 2016, and Dwayne Haskins, who redshirted as a freshman last year and drew raves simulating Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson during Fiesta Bowl preparations. After Barrett leaves following this season, 2018 five-star prospect Emory Jones arrives, assuming his commitment holds. But Martell is not conceding anything, long term or even short term.

“I’m not thinking about 12 months (from now),” he said on Feb. 1, national signing day. “I’m thinking about right now. I want to play. I know I’m going to go out there and do everything I can. If I don’t play, that’s on me. I know that coach (Urban) Meyer is going to play the best guy.”

If it sounds as if Martell has a chip on his shoulder, well, that’s the way it is for most quarterbacks whose height begins with a 5 and not a 6. Martell stands 5 feet 10, and Meyer concedes that his size is an issue.

“You have to be aware of that,” Meyer said. “But (his) competitive spirit, desire to win, that’s over the top. There are easy ways to evaluate quarterbacks, and the way we evaluate them is, ‘Do they win?’ ”

There’s no question about that, and his arm has plenty of zip. But what stands out on highlights video is his ability to scramble and improvise.

Martell said that’s never his original intention.

“I always go through my reads like a regular quarterback,” he said. “I just feel, OK, if they blitz and somebody’s coming, I can make that guy miss and still make something happen. Maybe some quarterbacks take that hit and go down. It’s not that I sit back there and drop back and run around. I’ve still got reads to go through.”

For now, Martell, like the Buckeyes’ eight other early enrollees, is acclimating to Ohio State and its rigorous offseason program. OSU has a new offensive coordinator, Kevin Wilson, as well as a new quarterbacks coach, Ryan Day, so all of the QBs are adjusting to change.

“It’s been hard, but it’s exactly what I need to be the best quarterback I can be,” Martell said.

Martell has been a Buckeyes fan since he can remember. He said that his grandfather, Richard Culbertson, is an alum.

“I have pictures of me with my grandpa holding me and I’m in my little Ohio State onesie,” he said.

Martell had committed to Washington and then Texas A&M, but when Ohio State offered a scholarship, he knew it was the place for him.

“This has been my dream school, where I wanted to play,” Martell said. “Regardless of who was here, it’s where I wanted to play.”

Martell’s ultimate goal is to succeed in the NFL.

“I have no issue competing with whoever,” he said. “This is not where I want to stop. I want to play in the NFL. This isn’t the last time I’m going to have to compete against the best guy out there.”