Clemson Tigers’ Justin Foster Retires From Soccer, Citing Issues With Asthma, COVID-19 –

Clemson Tigers’ Justin Foster Retires From Soccer, Citing Issues With Asthma, COVID-19

Clemson’s defensive end Justin Foster announced his retirement Wednesday, saying a combination of asthma, allergies and COVID-19 have made it impossible for him to return to the field.

“The decision was made after months of recovery and treatment, which required asking many difficult questions about my future,” wrote Foster, a senior, in a statement posted on Twitter. “Although I still have a long way to go, I am sure I will make a full recovery.”

Head coach Dabo Swinney said Wednesday that Foster is feeling much better than he was after testing positive in August 2020. However, Foster said he is “not in a position now nor do I see that position anytime soon, to give a step back in the field. “

“He had a really hard fall,” Swinney said of Foster, who missed the entire 2020 season while dealing with symptoms of COVID-19. “He has always had challenges with [asthma and allergies]But when he got COVID last summer, that really set him back. “

Foster is the second member of Clemson’s 2020 defensive line to address long-term COVID-19 symptoms. Xavier Thomas tested positive for COVID-19 last April, and symptoms persisted to the point where he was forced out of fall camp and missed the first part of the 2020 season.

Foster was one of Clemson’s leading defenders in 2019, finishing second on the team with 10.5 tackles to lose. He was projected to start for the 2020 season, but he never set foot on the field.

ESPN ranked Foster the No. 73 overall pick in the class of 2017, and chose Clemson over offers from Alabama, Florida and Georgia, among others.

Swinney said he was disappointed in Foster’s decision and asked him to stay with the team in hopes of continuing to play, but said that Foster, who graduated last year, had a job opportunity that affected his decision.

“Today is a new chapter full of many emotions,” wrote Foster. “I have great pride and gratitude reflecting on my experiences … and enthusiasm and confidence in my future.”


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