STANFORD -- The Stanford football program moved into digs this week, a few steps away from its former home.

The new base of operations is a 27,000-square-foot addition to the athletic department that features a gorgeous locker room, offices, meeting rooms and the Andrew Luck Auditorium.

Luck was one of many former players who contributed to the $21 million project -- Jim Plunkett and John Elway were major donors -- but he had no involvement in the auditorium that bears his name.

The locker room is organized by position and has a section for players who make the NFL and return to campus for offseason workouts.

"There's more space, they upgraded technology in the meeting rooms -- it's better than I hoped," said coach David Shaw, who was involved in the planning and expects the upgrade to benefit recruiting.

The football wing, which includes a wall commemorating Stanford's 2007 upset of USC, is the first phase in a significant overhaul of the Arrillaga Family Sports Center that will unfold over the next 12 to 18 months.

The project, which includes a new weight room and training facilities, is designed to benefit all Stanford teams and provide more space for athletic department administrators.

"I'm excited to come to work every day," receiver Ty Montgomery quipped. "It's like getting a new corner office."


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Director of football operations Matt Doyle visited dozens of schools, including USC, UCLA, Oregon State and Utah, to research options for design and decor.

The Cardinal then hired Advent, a Nashville-based company that designs work space and has assisted on numerous projects in intercollegiate athletics, including USC's $70 million John McKay Center.

  • Stanford faces Utah on Saturday and has one player from the Beehive State: backup quarterback Dallas Lloyd, who grew up near Provo but has attended many games in Utah's Rice-Eccles Stadium.

    "I always dreamed of playing in Rice-Eccles," said Lloyd, a redshirt freshman who spent two years on a church mission after high school. "But growing up I didn't think I'd play for Stanford."

    The ultra-mobile Lloyd fills the same role starter Kevin Hogan occupied early last season: as a running specialist in the spread formation.

    Lloyd has rushed for 20 yards in four attempts this season but has yet to attempt a pass.

    "We're going to continue to use him regardless of what Kevin does," Shaw said.

  • Inside linebacker A.J. Tarpley is often overshadowed by the player he lines up next to, captain Shayne Skov. But the redshirt junior has a knack for rising to the occasion.

    The first of his three career interceptions came against USC's Matt Barkley in Stanford's triple overtime victory two years ago; the second was against Oregon's Marcus Mariota in Stanford's upset last season; the third, off Washington's Keith Price last week, helped save a touchdown.

    "I love big games, home or away," Tarpley said. "But one of the things we try to do as a defense is play the same way every game."

  • The Oct. 19 showdown against UCLA will start at 12:30 p.m. and be televised by ABC. It's Homecoming for Stanford and is sold out.

    For more on college sports, see Jon Wilner's College Hotline at blogs.mercurynews.com/collegesports.