Clemson Tigers football star Justin Foster announced he’s retiring from the sport on Wednesday (Feb. 24) because of asthma complications following a COVID-19 diagnosis.
“Today is a difficult day for me, but it is also a day of reflection and gratitude,” Foster said in a statement posted to his Twitter account. “With sadness but no regret, I have decided it is in my best interest to call it a career and hang up football.”
The senior from North Carolina was unable to take the field during the 2020 season but was an honorable mention All-ACC selection in 2019 after posting 41 tackles and 4.5 sacks in 15 games.
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Last year, Foster was expected to start as DE after his standout 2019 season. A history of asthma combined with his contraction of the coronavirus made that impossible.
“He had a very tough fall,” Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney told reporters, according to ESPN. “He’s always had challenges with [asthma and allergies], but when he got COVID last summer, that really set him back.”
Foster, via Twitter, said that being born with asthma made it tough for him to breathe in normal conditions. Contracting COVID “made for a severe difficulty to perform physically,” and his focus is now on his long-term recovery.
“This decision came after months of recovery and treatment,” Foster wrote. “Which required asking a lot of difficult questions regarding my future.”
Read Justin Foster’s retirement announcement below.