Clemson will once again be missing a veteran contributor on its defensive line. Justin Foster, a former 4-star class of 2017 recruit, announced his retirement from college football on Wednesday.

In a note posted to Twitter, Foster shared that he has previous breathing issues due to allergy and asthma. He contracted COVID-19 last year, sharing the combination of all three “made for a severe difficulty to perform physically.” Foster missed the entire 2020 season.

Foster played in 39 career games, including 13 starts over, three seasons. He recorded 66 tackles, including 17.5 tackles for loss and 7 sacks. His most productive season came in 2019 when he led the defense in TFLs with 10.5.

Dabo Swinney told reporters he tried to convince Foster to stay with football.

“Tried to talk him out of it, but he had a very tough fall. COVID was a very tough thing for him,” Swinney said. “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.”

Swinney added that while Foster is hanging it up, the former defensive lineman has made progress.

“He’s way better than he was back in August, but he’s still kind of working through that,” Swinney said. “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.”