A lot has changed for Jarvis Johnson. A year ago at this time, the DeLaSalle point guard was a shadow behind Howard Pulley teammates Tyus Jones and Reid Travis (who also attended DeLaSalle), a pair of top recruits being wooed by elite programs across the country.

Now, the rising senior is running the show. He's top dog on Howard Pulley and one of the state's top players for the class of 2015. And as his recruitment grows, the 6-1, 185-pound Johnson is acting the part, speaking more eloquently and with a greater confidence than before.

"It's kind of a big role, I've got to step up a little bit," Johnson said of the change at the start of the AAU season. "So I'm just trying to carry my team as much as I can and lead by example."

While Minnesota was thought to be an early favorite for the speedy, athletic guard, Johnson squashed a rumor that he had already committed at the Howard Pulley Invitational last weekend. Johnson — ranked 85th nationally according to rivals.com — said the schools that are going after him the hardest include Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan, Michigan State, Iowa State, Kansas and Marquette.

Gold in the Barn: startribune.com/gophers