"I saw him immediately when I walked on the field. He was the smallest kid on the grass," McPherson recalled. "You know, I bet Kenny was probably 5-foot-1. No chance he was over 100 pounds."
But McPherson, the extremely successful head football coach at Lowndes High School, knows talent when he sees it, and Moore II had some clear traits that, with development, could translate at the next level.
"I knew he was an athlete," McPherson said. "Even though he was the smallest guy out there, (there was) his speed, his want-to, his hitting."
When McPherson and his staff finally got their hands on Moore II the summer before his freshman year, they wanted to use that speed, want-to and hitting on the defensive side of the ball. But Moore II, who wanted to remain at receiver, wasn't buying what they were selling.
"The corners coach, he was like, 'I could use you,'" Moore II said. "I was like, 'What?' We were about to leave for summer break before quarterback/receiver camp started, but he was like, 'Yeah, I could use you on defense.' I was like, 'I don't really think that's for me, coach.'"
"I was just like, 'No, this is not for me. I can't play corner. I don't really like contact either. So whenever my mom picked me up, I was like, 'I'm going to hang up football,'" Moore II continued. "I was going into ninth grade. I didn't want to play corner at all, ironically to say, but that's what happened."
McPherson noticed Moore II wasn't showing up to workouts, and caught up with him at school.
"He said, 'Coach, I gotta grow a bit. I want to play basketball,'" McPherson said. "I said, 'I'm not gonna leave you alone. I want you on the team.'"
But for the next three years, Moore II spent his Friday nights working the concession stand at the football games rather than playing in them. By his junior year, Moore II was a star three-sport athlete at Lowndes High School, where he excelled at basketball, soccer and track; as a junior, he made it to the state finals in the 110m hurdles.
At the time, Moore II dreamed of possibly joining the Air Force after high school and traveling the world.
But one conversation would end up changing the course of Moore II's life from that point on.
Sitting in Chemistry class during the spring semester of his junior year, Moore II chatted it up with a friend who had just been kicked off the football team. He was a talented cornerback, a starter, and with plenty of youth at the position behind him he knew Moore II would be a perfect candidate to replace him in the lineup.
"He was like, 'Hey Kenny, how about you go play football?' Moore II recalled. "I was like, 'No chance I would go out there.' He said, 'You play basketball, you played soccer for a year, you ran track for a year and you were pretty good. The guys who were behind me are only freshmen or younger guys. They need a guy to lead the way.'
"I was like, 'How can I lead the way? I haven't done it. This is a pretty good school. I just can't go out there and just do whatever,'" Moore II continued. "He was like, 'Trust me. It can't be that bad.' … I don't know how he convinced me, but I was like, 'All right. Whatever.' I marched down to the fieldhouse and I was like, 'Coach, I want to play football.'"
McPherson was thrilled. Moore II had grown to about 5-foot-7 and he was a bulldog at point guard on the basketball court, using many of the same skills that the coach knew would translate over to the football field.
"Unbelievable quickness, athletic ability," McPherson said of Moore II. "I knew watching him play basketball that we had to have this kid as a corner. I knew that we could just put him out there and (say), 'You cover this guy,' and this guy was gonna be covered."
Moore II's house was on the way to the school, so McPherson started picking up his newest player on the way to morning workouts. Moore II was a natural at cornerback, and he took to coaching well.
(There was a slight hiccup when Moore II said his basketball coach at one point convinced him to remain focused on the hardcourt and not on football, but McPherson eventually ironed out the situation and soon Moore II, now a senior, was playing football in the fall, and basketball in the winter.)
Moore II quickly realized he could hang with some of the area's best receivers.
"I was that kid that didn't have any habits, so whatever the coach told me to do, I just did it, only because that's what I was supposed to do," Moore II said. "It was always whatever he'd say: "All right, coach. I got you." I'd do it. He wasn't always harping on me to do things because whatever I was doing, he told me to do. That was pretty much just a way to make it easier on my coach, easier on myself at the end of the day.
"I gained trust before the season, became a starter," Moore II continued. "The rest is pretty much history."
And there he was again — Kenneth Moore, in the stands, watching his son start his ascension on the football field.
Still confused, Moore II would often confide in his cousin and best friend, Justin Williams, who was on Moore II's father's side of the family.
Williams lost his own father growing up, and the two shared a tight bond, growing especially close in high school.
"Every time I had problems at home or he would have a problem that he was going through, whatever it was, we talked about literally everything," Moore II said of Williams.
It's a brotherhood Moore II holds dear to his heart to this day.
"We've gone through so many ups and downs," Moore II said. "And all my successes, I feel as if he's made a major contribution, whether it's the work ethic and everything else that has gone into it."