The three juniors follow John Ross in skipping their senior season in favor of turning pro.
Washington juniors Budda Baker, Sidney Jones and Elijah Qualls will follow John Ross into the NFL draft, the school announced Tuesday.
All four are projected high-round draft picks by various mock drafts.
A fifth UW underclassmen, Vita Vea, has also given strong consideration toward leaving school early. Underclassmen have until Jan. 16 to declare for the NFL draft.
The departures of Baker, Jones and Qualls will give the UW defense, tops in the Pac-12 each of the last two season, a much different look in 2017. The Huskies also lose starting outside linebackers Psalm Wooching and Joe Mathis and cornerback Kevin King.
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Baker, the Bellevue High School product, was a consensus first-team All-American safety this season. He finished with a team-high 71 tackles, three sacks and two interceptions.
In a message posted on his Twitter account, Baker said playing for the Huskies was a “dream come true” and that his decision to leave early was difficult but “UW is back on the map and I’m proud to say I helped with it.”
Jones was a three-year starter at cornerback who led the UW in interceptions as a freshman and sophomore. The Diamond Bar, Calif., product was second-team All-America from the Football Writers and Sports Illustrated this year, when he had three interceptions with six more pass break-ups.
Qualls, from Petaluma, Calif., is a fourth-year junior, having redshirted in 2013. A two-year starter, he earned first-team All-Pac-12 in 2016, with 38 tackles and five tackles for loss. FOX Sports named him second-team All-America this year.
After the Huskies’ loss to Alabama in the College Football Playoff on Saturday, Qualls was asked what pros and cons he would weigh in his NFL decision.
“Pros: I won’t be broke,” he said with a laugh. “Cons: I know it’s more of a business than the family thing we got here. I’d miss these dudes, man. …
“I honestly didn’t even think I was going to make it to college, and now I get to actually think about going to the pros if I want to go and people want me to go,” he said. “Yo, that’s crazy.”
UW announced will not have host a press conference for the players departing for the draft early.
“These four players have been a big part of the progress this program has made during their time here,” UW coach Chris Petersen said in a statement. “We wish them all the success in the world as they pursue their professional goals.”