+1 on a "starter package" with a 2 channel interface and all the stuff to hook up a mic. Some even come with free audio software. It will serve him well down the road since he can hook up a second mic later. A USB mic will be a step up to be sure, but it is what it is, you can't hook up other stuff to it later, and once he decides to get an interface (and eventually he will if he is getting serious) the USB mic will become a paper weight even if it is still a good mic. A starter pack with an existing computer will offer more flexibility and be expandable over time. My 2 cents... Best of luck!
What do you mean "make it cut through the mix"? I've been trying all afternoon to bury it with a stake through it's heart!