Rivals.com - Bama beats Auburn and LSU for Ga'Quincy McKinstry
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Bama beats Auburn and LSU for Ga'Quincy McKinstry

THE SITUATION: Alabama has landed the no. 1 player in the state, Ga'Quincy McKinstry, a four-star athlete at Pinson Valley High. The Crimson Tide beat Auburn and LSU for his commitment, and this one had numerous twists and turns over the last year. Alabama was viewed as a favorite very early in his recruitment, then there was chatter about him looking hard at leaving the state, before Auburn pushed to the top of his list over the summer. Alabama continued to pursue, and their product helped convince McKinstry to choose the program in Tuscaloosa.

IN HIS OWN WORDS: "It was Alabama very early this year, and I even thought about committing to them late in the spring, but I got cold feet," said McKinstry. "Then, over the summer, things kind of shifted towards Auburn, and I thought hard about committing to them too. Auburn was my no. 1 school for a while, but I just kept thinking about it and taking my time.

"The way Alabama plays, how they produce players for the NFL, and their consistency made them the top school for me. I liked Auburn a lot, and I think it is a great place, but Alabama is best for me.

"I have visited there a lot, I like the place, and the school speaks for itself. I got close to coach Karl Scott, I love Nick Saban, and how they develop players make them different.

"I never told anyone this, but I grew up a huge Alabama fan. My whole family loved Alabama, they play different and I kept that to myself this whole process. I didn't want anyone to know that I have always loved Alabama.

"I ended up calling coach Scott a couple of weeks ago. I think it happened October 7. He didn't believe me when I told him I was committing. He thought I was joking. I facetimed coach Scott, and when he didn't believe me, he got coach Saban on the phone too, so I told him. They got excited, I know they wanted me and I felt immediate relief after that call.

"Coach Saban is officially the GOAT, and nobody can say different. He is the best coach out there, and he is going to make me a lot better. I have talked to him a lot, he is smart, he is a winner, and he has a funny side too. He is just different.

"When it first started, I didn't really care about recruiting. I knew I wasn't going to make an early decision, but around the spring, that is when I took it serious, that is when it got stressful, and the last few months were tough.

"I am now committed to Alabama, I went back and forth between schools, but I know my mind is made up now. I am ready to focus on the senior year and going after another state title now. I feel so much better now than I did a few weeks ago. It took a long time to get to October 25, but it is here and I am publicly an Alabama commit."

RIVALS REACTION: Another huge win on the recruiting trail for Alabama. This was a war. It was not easy, like some recruiting battles are for Saban and his staff. McKinstry was very close to committing to Auburn, and Alabama pulled away over the last month or so. McKinstry is an elite athlete with real upside on both sides of the ball. He said basketball played into his decision too, and he hopes to try both sports in Tuscaloosa.