TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Ga’Quincy McKinstry arrived on Alabama’s campus in the January as an early enrollee. The top-notch signee hasn’t wasted any time getting acclimated in the Crimson Tide secondary.
He's already making fans say, "Oh yeah!"
McKinstry had an interception that led to the White team’s game-winning field goal drive, recovered a fumble and made a key pass breakup late in the game to help seal a 13-10 victory in Saturday’s A-Day exhibition at Bryant-Denny Stadium.
McKinstry also had three tackles including one for a loss.
“Every day coach Saban gets on him about getting better and he feeds off of it,” cornerback Jordan Battle said. “Every day he gets better with trying to get things corrected and today showed that he’s made a lot of improvement and he made a lot of plays out there.”
Another young high-profile Crimson Tide defensive player to make an impact on Saturday was Kristian Story. The sophomore for the White team had an interception for 31 yards and three tackles.
Linebacker Chris Braswell was the MVP for the Crimson team with three sacks and a forced a fumble, which Jaylen Moody picked up for a touchdown.
“He’s really made a lot of progress, showed some ability in pass rush to really challenge our offense on a daily basis,” head coach Nick Saban said. “We knew he was a guy that would step up and be a guy to count on and have a role this year. Because of his pass-rush ability he will be a guy we find a role for."
Overall it was an up-and-down day for both defenses. The Crimson team defensive backs allowed three passes of 30-plus yards, including a 59-yard touchdown to tight end Cameron Latu, who put a nice move on defensive back DeMarco Hellams before walking into the end zone.
The White team had the better overall effort, with just 171 pass yards allowed with the longest reception of 37 yards.
“Today was a good day for us to show everybody that we have improved and what we have learned over the spring,” linebacker Jaylen Moody said.
Up front, the defensive lines had a tough time getting to the quarterbacks, who had plenty of time in the pocket. Jah-Marien Latham broke through a few times and had one sack with two QB hurries and four total tackles. He was named the Lineman of the Game by the media.
Linebacker Deonte Lawson had a nice game for the White team as well. Twice he almost made an interception. He had four tackles, including one for a loss.
“I thought the defense did pretty good today,” Battle said. “We had some guys out with injuries but we had guys step in and do a pretty good job today. It was a little rough at first but they got comfortable and did well toward the end.”