Kool-Aid McKinstry Has Had His Nickname Since Birth — What's His Real Name?

While some football player might go by their last names, Kool-Aid McKinstry has a nickname all on his own. What's his real name?

Callie (Carlos) Cadorniga - Author

Apr. 25 2024, Published 9:53 a.m. ET

Kool-Aid McKinstry holding an NFL football
Source: Getty Images

It's easy enough for a name like Kool-Aid McKinstry to make an impact all on its own, but the football player would rather let his skills on the field do the talking. He already made a splash after being named 2021's USA Today High School Football Defensive Player of the Year. He would go on to play college football at Alabama and was subsequently named an All-American football player in 2023. He would later declare for the 2024 NFL Draft, making him a player to look out for overall.

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Kool-Aid McKinstry has already made a name for himself in the world of football, and a name like Kool-Aid is hard to ignore. After all, the name invokes plenty of images of giants busting through walls and just makes you want to yell "OHH YEAH" while doing it. It's hard not to think of the Kool-Aid Man when talking about Kool-Aid McKinstry, but despite having built his career on this moniker, it isn't his real name. So, what is his real name? As it turns out, there's an adorable story behind the nickname.

Kool-Aid McKinstry at 2024 NFL Combine
Source: Getty Images
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Kool-Aid McKinstry has had his nickname since birth. What's his real name?

People have named their kids very interesting things over the years, mostly fictional characters. But we'd be hard-pressed to find anyone who would actively put the name "Kool-Aid" on someone's birth certificate right away. Indeed, the same can be said for Kool-Aid McKinstry.

The football player's real name is Ga'Quincy. Although that was the name given to him at birth, he earned his nickname almost immediately after being born.

In an interview with Tuscaloosa News, McKinstry's grandmother Brenda Allen spoke at length on the origins of her grandson's nickname. Sometime shortly after his mother Geneva gave birth to her son, she passed him over to Brenda. To their pleasant surprise, he wasn't at all fussy while being held. In fact, he was smiling.

"I told his mom 'Look at this boy with this big Kool-Aid smile on his face,'" Brenda told the outlet. He was officially named Ga'Quincy, but the nickname almost immediately stuck.

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Ever since, Brenda has almost always referred to Ga'Quincy as Kool-Aid. It's a title he wears proudly as he continues making a splash in American football. As of now, his grandmother is all too proud that the name has taken her grandson as far as it has.

"Never did I think that nickname would be big like it is," Brenda told Tuscaloosa News. "I didn't expect that name would get you somewhere or that name is going to be a household name like the Kool-Aid drink."

And of course, a name like "Kool-Aid" is going to get you noticed by the brand that inspired it. In 2021, McKinstry entered an NIL partnership with the actual Kool-Aid drink company. He has since appeared in promotional images for the drink and has used the partnership as a platform to further his career in football.

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