Justin Foster is not the only Clemson player who decided to retire from playing football.
Offensive lineman Blake Vinson is also hanging up his cleats. However, the difference is Vinson has decided to stay on at Clemson and will be a student coach this coming season.
Foster, an All-ACC caliber defensive end, decided to leave the Clemson Football program to pursue his chosen career. Foster gave up football due to more complications with his asthma and allergies, brought on after he contracted the coronavirus last summer.
As for Vinson, Swinney said the graduate student could not get over the hump when it came to his injuries.
“Blake Vinson has been battling. It is a shame,” Swinney said. “But that is football. It is unfortunate sometimes. You wonder why guys sometimes can’t quite get over the hump from an injury standpoint.
“But he has had multiple, multiple surgeries, knee surgery, shoulder, you name it. But he has still made a great contribution to our program. He is a great teammate, and he is an incredibly dedicated worker.”
Vinson played in 16 games in his career, but injuries held him back. In the 16 games he has played in, he had just 150 snaps. He did play in three games last year, but they were early in the season. He played a season-high 15 snaps against Wake Forest in the season opener. He did not play again after the Georgia Tech game on Oct. 17.
Other injuries. Swinney also reported tight end Luke Price, defensive back Jack McCall, defensive end K.J. Henry, safety Landon Zanders, linebacker Baylon Spector and defensive tackle Etinosa Reuben will miss the entire Spring after having postseason surgery.
Defensive tackle DeMonte Capehart also had a procedure which will limit him in the first half of the spring. Left guard Matt Bockhorst had to have clean-up surgery, he will practice on a limited basis. The same goes for tight end Davis Allen.
COVID-19 update. Swinney also mentioned there are a few players who have tested positive for COVID-19 that will miss at least the first week of practice. Those who had direct contact will miss a couple of more days. Some could be back by Friday’s practice, some by Monday. All of those players are expected to participate in Spring practice at some point.
“Obviously, there is still a virus out there. It is still a part of our world,” Swinney said. “I think the worst thing for a bunch of young people is to not have the structure. We went seven months and had very minimal issues with the structure and all the motivations from the fear of just missing out and not being able to play and so forth. So, we are kind of just getting those guys back in the rhythm of a season, if you will.”
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