Clemson Tigers defensive end Justin Foster announced via Twitter on Wednesday that he had quit the program and withdrawn from football due to complications from asthma, allergies and a bout with COVID-19 :

“The decision came after months of healing and treatment, which required asking many tough questions about my future,” Foster wrote in a statement shared on social media. “Although I still have a way to go, I have no doubts that I will fully recover.”

Foster recorded seven sacks and 60 tackles during his three years at Clemson and, as David M. Hale explained for ESPN, was supposed to be a starter last fall until he tested positive for the coronavirus in August. Instead, Foster couldn’t be allowed to return to the pitch and is now hanging on to his cleats on his terms.

“I tried to talk him out,” Clemson coach Dabo Swinney told reporters, via Joshua Needelman post and mail. “He could really play to the next level. I don’t think there is any doubt about that.”

Per Swinney, Foster found a job outside of football after graduating in December with a degree in construction science and management.

“He thought about it a lot, talked with his family for a long time, weighed it all,” Swinney said. “I have to respect that and wish him luck.”

Swinney added: “He had a very difficult fall. He always had challenges with [asthma and allergies], but when he had COVID last summer, it really delayed him. ”

Buffalo Bills tight Tommy Sweeney, Boston Red Sox pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez, Cleveland Browns pass pitcher Myles Garrett, Boston Celtics star Jayson Tatum and Washington Wizards members are among the known American athletes who have been hit hard by persistent problems caused by COVID-19 infections over the past year.