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Clemson Football Player Announces He's Retiring From Sport

LSU quarterback Joe Burrow runs the ball against Clemson in the national title game.

NEW ORLEANS, LA - JANUARY 13: Joe Burrow #9 of the LSU Tigers is tackled by Justin Foster #35 of the Clemson Tigers during the College Football Playoff National Championship held at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on January 13, 2020 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Justin Tafoya/Getty Images)

2020 was a trying year for many people, and Clemson football players are no exception. So it shouldn't be too shocking that one Clemson player is choosing to retire after a particularly rough year.

On Wednesday, Clemson defensive end Justin Foster took to Twitter to confirm that he is retiring from football. He cited his difficult bout with COVID-19 and asthma problems as primary reasons for retiring. Foster said he doesn't believe that he can return to the level he needs to be at to contribute.

"I believe as Coach (Dabo) Swinney says, that "the best is yet to come." I think that is true for Clemson University, for the Clemson Tigers, and my future, it's time to put everything Clemson has given me to work out there in my next journey. 35 out."

Foster started 13 of 39 games for Clemson between 2017 and 2019. As a junior in 2019, he finished second on the team with 11.5 tackles for loss. He had 4.5 sacks that year as the Tigers won their third straight ACC title and appeared in the national title game.

Speaking to the media, Dabo Swinney lamented that he wasn't able to convince Justin Foster to come back. Swinney said he tried to talk him out of it and acknowledged once again how smart and talented he is.

“Tried to talk him out of it, but he had a very tough fall. COVID was a very tough thing for him,” Swinney said, via The State. “Justin is a guy that’s always battled asthma and allergies. He’s always had challenges with that. When he got COVID last summer that really, really set him back.

“He’s way better than he was back in August, but he’s still kind of working through that. Really was hoping that he’d continue that process and come back and play next year, but if you know Justin Foster, you know that first of all, he’s a brilliant young man. He’s incredibly smart. He has a lot of interest and is very, very talented and he’s got a great career ahead of him.”

Good luck in all of your future endeavors, Justin!