CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- St. Albans High School freshman Thaddeus "Thad" Moss is anything but a typical athlete.
He is every bit of the 6-foot-2 and 210 pounds listed from last football season at Boone County (Ky.) High and, as the son of NFL star Randy Moss, will likely get all the attention he could want as a ninth-grader for the Red Dragons.
Boys basketball practice began around the state on Monday and the younger Moss and a dozen other varsity players gathered at Tex M. Williams Gymnasium to begin what is expected to be an interesting season for Coach Marshall Kiser and the Red Dragons.
Perhaps not since 1999 St. Albans All-American basketball star Brett Nelson will the school gather as much attention as it is expected this season, which begins Dec. 14 at Riverside.
Thad Moss moved last Tuesday back to St. Albans where he lived until he was "3 or 4 years old."
Moss' father starred in basketball and football at DuPont High School and twice was named state basketball player of the year, sharing it with Beckley's Anthony Scruggs as a junior and winning the award outright as a senior. He was a Heisman Trophy finalist at wide receiver at Marshall University before being taken 21st overall by the Minnesota Vikings in the 1998 NFL Draft.
"With his dad being the athlete that he is and playing in the NFL, of course he's a local athlete," Kiser said. "That's going to spur a lot of interest.
"Everybody's interested in Randy Moss and everybody's interested in his kids. I think we all are. That's just natural."
After stretching on Monday, St. Albans got right to work and had Thad in the mix.
His basketball experience extends only to AAU, however. Last summer he played for the Boone County Rebels, and, two years ago was with the Northern Kentucky Knights.
This past football season he was a tight end and defensive end for the high school Rebels, catching 12 passes for 157 yards and contributing 16 solo tackles and 16 assists on defense.
They finished 1-10 after losing to Pleasure Ridge Park in the first round of the playoffs.
"Being a tight end and defensive end made me work harder, but it was fun," the 14-year-old Moss said. "I've played tight end since I started football in third grade. It was tough getting the hang of defensive end because I only played it for about a year. I finally got into the flow of it and it's a fun position.
"It was also frustrating, because I'm so competitive and when we win one game and lose the rest, it's tough."
Next fall he'll join a St. Albans football team that finished just 2-8 in 2012.
This past weekend, he made an unofficial visit to Alabama to watch the Crimson Tide drop a 29-24 decision to Texas A&M. Alabama - coached by Fairmont native and three-time national championship Coach Nick Saban - is the first school Moss has visited.