Former Crest standout will return to college football at Clemson

By Richard Walker

After announcing on Feb. 24 that he was stepping away from football following complications related to asthma and COVID-19, former Crest High standout Justin Foster will be back on the football field in the fall for Clemson.

Justin Foster

Tigers coach Dabo Swinney announced Wednesday that Foster “has indicated his intention to return to Clemson for the 2021 season” according to a school news release.

“For me, the decision came when I went to Duke a couple weeks ago and the doctor was positive on me recovering in the near future,” Foster said in a school news release. “In the next month or two, she thought I’d recover enough to compete at the college level, and she motivated me and said that if I wanted to play again, she’d encourage me to and support me and she would do the best she could to get me back healthy. She believed that I will be healthy and, for me, that was a big stepping stone.”

Foster was expected to be one of Clemson’s top defensive lineman in 2020 after he earned honorable mention All-ACC in 2019.

Instead, he never played in a game.

“I’m really excited,” Swinney said in a school news release. “I got a call the other day from Justin Foster, and he’s feeling a lot better and back training and has decided that upon further review he really wants to come back and play again. I’m just really, really excited because I know he wasn’t in a good place mentally in January. I tried to talk him out of [moving on] then, but I did tell him, ‘Hey, if something changes, the door is open for you,’ and things have changed. He’s feeling a lot better. Like I said, he’s back training, and I think being away has really rekindled that fire for him.”

A 2017 Crest High graduate, Foster had recorded 66 career tackles, including 17 1-2 for losses and seven sacks, with a pass breakup, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery in 756 snaps over 39 career games (13 starts) from 2017-19.

“It’s not often you get a call from a great player that you think is gone and he says he’s coming back,” Swinney said. “He’s a great leader with great experience and a really talented football player.”

Foster earned his degree in construction science and management from Clemson in December 2020.