Johnny Manziel passed on the bright lights of the ESPN stage before Monday's national title game to announce whether he will enter the 2014 NFL Draft, but Texas A&M's redshirt sophomore quarterback has selected his agents, according to ESPN.com.
Manziel has chosen Houston-based Select Sports Group to be his contract agency and LRMR to handle his marketing, according to the report. LRMR is the firm run by LeBron James' business partner, Maverick Carter.
Manziel attended a Miami Heat playoff game last season, and said he and the NBA superstar regularly traded text message last summer. He was reportedly seen sitting courtside with Carter at the Heat's game against the Golden State Warriors last week.
Manziel is currently the No. 8-rated overall player eligible this year, according to NFLDraftScout.com ratings. He is likely to be a top 10 selection should he indeed elect to leave school, but the quarterback class received a strong boost with juniors Teddy Bridgewater from Louisville and UCF's Blake Bortles announcing they will forgo their final years of eligibility.
Bridgewater has been NFLDraftScout.com's top-rated quarterback since May, but Bortles shot to the top of analyst Dane Brugler's Mock Draft after announcing his decision. Fellow analyst Rob Rang projects Manziel going to the Oakland Raiders with the fifth pick, but only lists Johnny Football as No. 17 on his Big Board.
Manziel promises to be one of this year's most polarizing prospects. While it only takes one team with a top 10 selection to fall in love with Manziel, there are many others who will have concerns about his arm strength, ability to translate his game to the NFL and Manziel's lengthy history of off-field distractions.
The 2012 Heisman Trophy winner would appear to have a strong marketing draw for whichever NFL team selects him. Manziel already has established a marketing company, JMAN2 Enterprises, which filed for the "Johnny Football" trademark last February. The application is currently suspended as the US Trademark and Patent Office reviews another application by a Texas A&M fan that was filed previous to Manziel, according to ESPN.
Manziel led Texas A&M to a dramatic comeback victory over Duke in the Chick-Fil-A Bowl on New Year's Eve. Teammate and fellow redshirt sophomore wide receiver Mike Evans announced he will forgo his final two years of eligibility, but Manziel has taken his time before making an official decision.