It’s not instant, but Nick Saban says Ga'Quincy 'Kool-Aid' McKinstry making progress after Tide scrimmage

Cecil Hurt
Alabama football signee Kool Aid McKinstry is seen with the Alabama basketball team in Coleman Coliseum before the game with Mississippi State Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021. [Staff Photo/Gary Cosby Jr.]

Alabama coach Nick Saban said Friday that Ga'Quincy “Kool-Aid” McKinstry was “making progress” as the Crimson Tide wrapped up its first scrimmage of the spring.

"Kool-Aid's making progress,” Saban said. “I think he's shown that he has some ability to contribute to the team. I think that he has to play with more consistency at his position. He’s like all the other young players out there. He finds out that it’s not as easy as he thought it would be.I think he shows a lot of maturity out there, plays with some toughness. I’m not satisfied with where he is but I’m pleased with the progress he’s making.”

McKinstry, the state’s No. 1 prep football prospect in 2020, played both offense and defense at Pinson Valley Hugh School but is working primarily at cornerback this spring.

A dual-sport athlete in football and basketball, was an early enrollee at Alabama in January. He practiced with Nate Oats’ basketball team in January but did not see action. He took part in Alabama’s net-cutting celebration of the SEC regular-season championship following the final home game against Auburn but did not accompany the team to the SEC or NCAA tournaments.

“When (football) starts, that takes precedence,” Oats said in January. “But he’s great. I shot a game of pool with him after the game. On the court, he learns fast, he’s obviously an extraordinary athlete and maybe he could give us some of that toughness that we need.” 

Saban also mentioned McKinstry on a Zoom call earlier this week following a question about cornerbacks.

"Kool-Aid is picking things up and seems to be coming along,” Saban said. I'm kind of anxious to see how those guys do when the fur flies, too."

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