D.J. Durkin made history.

As Maryland signed a majority of its 2018 recruiting class during the early signing period, it found itself firmly planted inside 247Sports’ top 25 for a second consecutive season, the first time it’s ever happened for the program. When Wednesday came to a close, the Terrapins ranked No. 18 nationally and owned the fourth-best class in the B1G.

Those are the exact same spots Maryland finished a year ago when it landed its best-ever recruiting class. With a signing day in February still remaining, there’s a chance the Terrapins could finish even higher this year.

Durkin already had the reputation as a dynamite recruiter when he took the job at Maryland following the 2015 season, working at Stanford, Florida and Michigan. But at those locations, he always had the benefit of using a brand name program, backed up by heavyweight head coach in his pitch — yes, dropping the names Jim Harbaugh or Urban Meyer will turn some heads.

There was little question Durkin was going to have success on the recruiting front, but to what extent was the unanswered question.

He’s made a pretty loud statement the last two years, and he made it on his home turf.

 Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Similar to last year, Maryland’s 2018 class is filled with prospects plucked from the talent-rich soil of its own yard. Durkin has strived to establish a presence in the “DMV” — Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia — in an effort to keep the most talented local products at home. So far, it’s worked to his benefit.

The DMV is an undervalued and underappreciated area on the recruiting front. It’s not as prospect-wealthy as the hotbeds like Florida, Texas or California, but it’s still a well-saturated market, especially with football powerhouse DeMatha Catholic High School well within the footprint. The region is home to 15 of Maryland’s 24 current hard commits and early signees, several of which were among the top players in the area.

RELATED: WATCH: Maryland Kicker Can Make 50-Yard FGs With Either Leg

A really quick — and extremely basic — breakdown of the prospects out of D.C., Maryland and Virginia shows that there isn’t exactly an overflowing well of talent outside of Durkin’s back porch, but there is a good chunk of high-quality players available.

Durkin has used this area as the foundational piece for constructing his first two recruiting classes. It’s been his niche market since arriving in College Park, and he has been able to fend off lingering poachers relatively well, all things considered.

State     5-star     4-star     3-star     Maryland commits
     Washington, D.C.        0        2        12      4-star: 1,   3-star: 2
     Maryland        2        7        29      4-star: 2,  3-star: 6
     Virginia        1        3        35      4-star: 0,  3-star: 4
     Total        3        12        76      4-star: 3,  3-star: 12

Nick Saban intruded into the DMV and lured five-star defensive end Eyabi Anoma — the top prospect from the state of Maryland — Alabama. Urban Meyer encroached into Durkin’s territory and stole other top prospects such as Taron Vincent, Teradja Mitchell and K’Vaughan Pope. James Franklin and Penn State have also had a pretty active presence in the area.

Maryland’s not going to land all the talent.

But Durkin was able to secure commitments from four of the top 15 players out of the Terrapins’ home state. Four-star defensive tackle Austin Fontaine and four-star offensive tackle Jaelyn Duncan are playing for their hometown team. Noah Boykin, the second-best player out of D.C. and a four-star talent, has given his commitment to College Park. Three of Virginia’s top 16 players are also members of Maryland’s 2018 recruiting class.

That’s all in addition to the 17 players the Terrapins signed from the DMV in the 2016 recruiting class, which included stars like all-purpose back Anthony McFarland Jr., cornerback Deon Long and quarterback Kasim Hill. In all, Durkin landed seven four-star athletes out of the region last recruiting period.

Firm recruiting grounds, indeed.

 Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Recruiting the home state and the surrounding areas isn’t an innovative new idea in college athletics. Durkin didn’t exactly reinvent the wheel with this approach. A solid foundation to any recruiting process is keeping homegrown products in-state. But it’s slightly different for the 39-year-old head coach.

Durkin understands there’s a bevvy of talent sprouting right outside his window. And while some of those high-caliber athletes might attract the attention of the Alabamas, Ohio States and Penn States of the world, Maryland has access to some of the area’s top prospects that are going unnoticed. Durkin doesn’t have to battle Meyer for recruits out of Ohio. He’s not settling for third place in Michigan behind Harbaugh and Mark Dantonio.

He’s stepped outside the area and plucked a few players from Georgia, Florida and the Carolinas, as most head coaches do. But he hasn’t pounded the pavement in the South, trying to recreate an SEC recruiting strategy in the Northeast.

RELATED: Maryland lands former Illinois LB Tre Watson

Maryland essentially has the DMV to itself. Durkin has taken advantage of that situation.

Even though the Terrapins have struggled on the field in the first two years of Durkin’s tenure (going 6-7 in 2016 and 4-8 in 2017), they’ve still been able to wrap up two of the best recruiting classes in program history. And they’ve accomplished that in back-to-back seasons, something that’s never been done in College Park.

Durkin’s devotion to recruiting the DMV heavily and keeping the area’s top products at home is the primary reason for that success. And in just two short years, he’s already made history on the recruiting trail.

If that continues, he’ll start making history on the field, too.