Justin Foster is Back, Ready to be Leader on Clemson Defense

One of the missing pieces on the Clemson defense last season was Justin Foster.

The loss of Foster for the season was a big blow. You just can’t put a tangible value on what a veteran like that brings to your team. Especially after the 2019 season Foster had when he registered 4.5 sacks and 10 TFL.

However, after briefly retiring from the sport due to the effects of Covid, combined with his asthma, Foster was ready to come back after the Tigers wrapped up spring practice.

At Clemson’s Media Day last week, defensive coordinator Brent Venables said his veteran defensive lineman has come back as a man on a mission and the coaches are expecting Foster to be a full-go when Clemson and Georgia open the season in Charlotte.

“I can tell you from a weight room, they’re going to tell you he is setting all kinds of personal records with his strength and conditioning,” Venables said. “He is making all of his times, so that will get you excited. We haven’t seen him on the field in a year and a half, that gets you really excited. Our expectation is, he’s been full go for some time now. And he’s gotten himself into terrific shape and he’s been a vocal leader form what I’ve been told.”

Venables said he expects nothing less than a great year from Foster and that he’s already providing invaluable leadership for the younger players on the roster.

“He’s done a terrific job of leading that group, having the experience and the wisdom for them and leading them. Really expect a huge year for Justin.”

Head coach Dabo Swinney recently echoed those same sentiments about his veteran player.

“I’ve already seen everything I need to see from him,” Swinney said. “He’s an old savvy dog. That guy is a ball player. He is in a great spot, great shape, mentally.”

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