You could do a lot worse in life than following along the same path as LeBron James.
Johnny Manziel was likely thinking along the same lines when he selected Maverick Carter's LRMR management firm to represent his marketing interests in the future. Manziel also chose Select Sports Group (SSG) for contract representation.
Updates from Monday, Jan. 13
On Monday, Johnny Manziel confirmed the news according to the Associated Press, and is now officially with LRMR and Maverick Carter.
---End of Update---
ESPN's Darren Rovell broke the news on Tuesday, Jan. 7:
ESPN's Sam Khan Jr. later reported the date Manziel is expected to make the announcement: "Manziel is expected to make public his decision on his football-playing future Wednesday, two sources with knowledge of the player's thinking told ESPN.com on Tuesday."
Gil Brandt of NFL.com is reporting that Manziel has already submitted his papers for inclusion in this year's draft class:
To be clear, Manziel has officially submitted declaration papers to #NFL for inclusing in 2014 draft, part of record 80 underclassmen.— Gil Brandt (@Gil_Brandt) January 8, 2014
On the marketing side of things, Rovell noted how much Johnny Football admired LeBron and felt the two were in the same boat, to a certain extent. Thus Carter, James' childhood friend, would be the perfect marketing representative for Manziel:
Manziel said he befriended James when he was being investigated by the NCAA this summer for signing autographs for memorabilia brokers. Manziel told "The Dan Patrick Show" last month that the two would text each other every day during that time.
"Everyone was coming after me and there was so much criticism," Manziel said. "I feel like LeBron deals with that every single day of his life."
A source close to the negotiations over Manziel's representation told ESPN.com that Manziel had always admired James' off-the-court business empire. Manziel was seen sitting courtside with Carter for the team's game against the Golden State Warriors last week.
Manziel's choice of SSG isn't much of a surprise either, as it leaked back in December that Manziel would sign with the agency, per sports business reporter Darren Heitner.
2 sources tell @insidetheleague that Johnny Manziel will sign w/Houston, TX agency Select Sports Group.— Darren Heitner (@DarrenHeitner) December 12, 2013
The Houston-based sports agency has plenty of football expertise, as Forbes listed SSG as the 10th-most valuable NFL agency in 2013.
Perhaps SSG is best known for being Geno Smith's former agency, as the New York Jets rookie terminated his relationship with SSG shortly after the 2013 NFL draft.
As of Jan. 6, the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner was still undecided on whether he was going to forgo the final two years of his college football career. According to ESPN's Brett McMurphy, Manziel said, "I want to make the right decision that's best for me and my family."
If anything, Rovell's news makes it all but certain that Manziel is entering the 2014 NFL draft. He wouldn't need to take this step if he were confident he'd be staying in school.
Now that he has hired agencies to represent both his contractual and marketing interests, college football has likely seen the last of Johnny Manziel.