It doesn't look like you're doing it but don't restrict to one brand either.
While I was not a beginning rider, 6 years ago we got a Suzuki Boulevard C50T (about 800cc). A great cruiser! The "T" comes stock with a windshield, floorboards, good driver's seat and hard leather saddlebags that are not removeable, water cooled, fuel injected and shaft drive. Kawasaki and Yamaha comparable models. I'm sure there are plenty of used ones out there. Oh and I'll add that on the Suzuki I could easily flatfoot both feet with bent knees and I have 29"-30" inseam. My wife has a shorter inseam and when she sat on it she could flatfoot it too.
Since you're in N. Georgia you may want to take him to WOW Motorcycles in Marietta, GA. It's literally a superstore of used motorcycles. Their website even has an "under $5,000 area now". He can at least look in person at many different types of bikes, sit on them and help narrow his search.