The 1990s were filled with great duos. Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen. Chris Farley and David Spade. Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg. Wayne and Garth. Harry and Lloyd. Salt-N’-Pepa Cory and Topanga (okay...maybe this was just me).
But during FSU’s decade of dominance, there was arguably no better duo in than Peter Warrick and number 72 on our list, Ron Dugans.
A Tallahassee native, Dugans was a three-sport star at FAMU High School, averaging 10 yards a carry and 20 yards a reception for the football team, 20 points per game for the basketball team, and winning a state title in the triple jump with a mark of 47’2”. Naturally he earned scholarship offers from teams all over the south, but Dugans’ decided to join the legendary 1995 recruiting class at Florida State that included names like Dan Kendra, Walter Jones, Dexter Jackson, Mario Edwards, Jason Whitaker, and the other half of the future dynamic duo.
Despite a loaded offensive roster, Dugans’ ability at wideout were immediately apparent and helped him appear in all 22 games his true freshman and sophomore years. However, an injury forced him to take a medical redshirt in 1997—the year that would become Warrick’s breakout campaign, who himself had redshirted in 1995.
Instead of letting the injury derail his promising career, Dugans came back better than ever in 1998, turning into a reliable first down and scoring threat who had a knack for winning one-on-one battles downfield (see below) and prevented teams from focusing too much attention on number nine.
During that 1998 season, Dugans was second on the team in receptions, yards, and receiving touchdowns. And as would be the case for both his junior and senior seasons, Dugans was at his best in the biggest games.
In an early season showdown against a top 20 USC team, Dugans iced the game with a 35 yard catch-and-tightrope-move into the endzone.
Then in the regular season finale against UF, Dugans was on the receiving end of a trick-play touchdown that not only sealed the comeback win, but also earned a top 25 ranking in last summer’s countdown of the best plays in FSU history.
And while Florida State couldn’t quite bring home the national title in 1998, Dugans put on a show in Tempe, leading FSU with 6 receptions for 135 yards, a career high at the time.
Returning for his senior season, Dugans helped the Seminoles take care of unfinished business by becoming the first team in college football history to be ranked number 1 in the pre-season poll, the final poll, and every poll in between. And just like the year prior, Dugans saved his best for last.
His 63 yard catch and “not gonna catch him” run gave the Seminoles a working margin of 14 early in the second quarter.
Dugans then gave FSU a 4th quarter lead it would never relinquish with his second touchdown of the game:
For his career, Dugans would finish with more than 100 receptions and over 1,500 yards, and that doesn’t include his combined 11 catches for 234 yards and two TDs in two national title games. (The NCAA did not start counting bowl game stats until 2002 and, because they are the NCAA, they refuse to retroactively count those accumulated by players prior to that year.
After graduating from FSU, Dugans became a 3rd round selection for the Cincinnati Bengals where he’d play in 46 games over the next three seasons. Upon retiring from the NFL, Dugans embarked on a successful coaching career. Beginning as a graduate assistant for Florida State in 2005-06, Dugans worked for the Bengals, Georgia Southern, Louisville, USF, and the University of Miami before his journey came full circle and brought him back home to Tallahassee earlier this year.