DETROIT -- The All American Football League drew its biggest names at one of its biggest combines Thursday.
Eric Crouch, the 2001 Heisman Trophy winner at Nebraska, worked out at Ford Field for scouts from the new league, which plans to begin its 10-week season in April.
Chris Leak, who quarterbacked Florida to the BCS championship in January, watched the workout from the sidelines.
More than 300 players -- many of whom were in NFL training camps this summer -- turned out for the league's evaluation session.
Previous sessions in Alabama, Florida and Arkansas drew about 200 players each.
"There's a lot of talent here, a lot of good talent that could easily be playing in any other league," Crouch said after the second of three workouts. "Now that the NFL in Europe has folded, there has to be somewhere else to play."
Crouch was released by the Canadian Football League's Toronto Argonauts last week after a nine-week stay on the team's injured reserve list. He only threw 13 passes for the team after spending a season in NFL Europa as a safety.
The NFL shut down NFL Europa earlier this year after 16 seasons. The league was losing a reported $30 million a season.
AAFL vice president of football operations Keenan Davis, who worked in the NFL's offices for several years, said the influx of players who've played in the NFL or gone through its training camps should help the league develop credibility.
"I think other players are going to see these guys here today and realize that this is a league that wants quality players," he said. "There are only so many spots in the NFL, but there still are a lot of guys that can play and play at a high level."
With teams in Detroit; Little Rock, Ark; Gainesville, Fla.; Birmingham, Ala.; Knoxville, Tenn.; and a yet-to-be-determined city in Texas, the new league hopes to build on fans' identification with former collegiate stars. Teams will be able to protect 20 players with ties to their region when the AAFL holds its first player draft Jan. 11.
Most of the players who worked out Thursday attended Michigan universities or had ties to the state.
Players, who must have graduated from a four-year university, will be paid $50,000 to $100,000 per season and Davis said the league hopes to keep its average ticket price at $25.
Leak, who went to camp with the NFL's Chicago Bears as an undrafted free agent, said he was at the workout simply to observe and get a feel for the level of talent the league will attract. Crouch, who was considered too small to play quarterback in the NFL, echoed Leak.
"I want to play somewhere," he said. "I'm just not sure where that's going to be yet."
The AAFL will hold additional combines in Houston and Knoxville in coming months. While the 10-game season appears set, officials were still not sure of the playoff format. The league's first championship game is scheduled for July 3.