By Erik Harris, sports editor
PINSON – Decision day is approaching for highly-touted Pinson Valley senior Ga’Quincy “Kool-Aid” McKinstry.
Listed by many as the top overall prospect in the state, McKinstry is expected to announce his verbal commitment on Sunday afternoon at Pinson Valley High School. He will choose between Alabama, Auburn and LSU.
First-year Indians head coach Sam Shade says he believes the 6-foot corner has enjoyed the recruiting process and has made up his mind regarding his college destination.
“He’s keeping it tight to the vest,” said Shade. “He really hasn’t talked to me about it at all and it’s funny because since I’ve gotten there, you’ll see him with some LSU stuff on, I’ve seen him with Clemson stuff on before he narrowed it down, Alabama, Auburn, so he’s having some fun with it.”
McKinstry has been known for sporting an assortment of gloves, towels and other accessories, representing his three finalists on Friday nights.
“But I obviously think he knows right now,” Shade continued. “I don’t think it’s something where he’s going to have to sleep on it the night before, I think he knows.”
The two-way star has logged time at receiver and cornerback during the last few years at Pinson Valley, and recorded his first pick-6 of the season last week in a region championship-sealing win over Clay-Chalkville. Plays like that make him one of the elite prospects in America.
“I think people are looking for those guys on defense that can be game-changers and get their hands on the ball like he did the other night against Clay-Chalkville,” said Shade, a former standout defensive back at Alabama and in the NFL.
“As a guy who’s going to play defensive back in college, he’s got really good length and that’s going to help him,” he continued. “He’s got great ball skills for a cornerback. When I got to Pinson I started watching his film and I said, ‘Why aren’t people recruiting this kid as a receiver?’ because he really does a good job of locating the ball and he’s got good hands. But he wants to play defense.”
McKinstry is listed as a 5-star prospect, according to 247Sports. He checks in at No. 24 nationally among Class of 2021 players and No. 1 overall in Alabama. Shade, like many others, is eager to hear what “Kool-Aid” has to say on Sunday afternoon.
“This kid’s been getting recruited since ninth grade, so for me, I look at it like I came in in the fourth quarter with two minutes left and I’m just watching a great game right now,” said Shade.